Purpose: To assess the progression of eye pain after scleral buckling surgery to treat rhegmatogenous retinal detachment and to investigate the occurrence and characteristics of chronic eye pain.
Methods: This was a longitudinal, prospective, and observational study. Eye pain was measured according to a numerical analog scale (range, 0–10) for 6 months after scleral buckling surgery. The sample was divided into two groups, with or without chronic eye pain, to perform statistical analyses. For this study, chronic eye pain was defined as postoperative pain beyond 30 days. The following variables were assessed to investigate the etiology of chronic eye pain: age, gender, ethnicity, degree of myopia, visual acuity, intraocular pressure, and degree of scleral indentation.
Results: A total of 100 patients were assessed in this study. One particular sequence of levels on the pain analog scale, specifically 3–2–1–0–0 (intensity of eye pain on postoperative Days 1, 14, 30, 60, and 180, respectively), was identified more frequently during the progression of eye pain in the 180-day follow-up period. The pain resolved for 72% of patients within 30 days. Chronic eye pain occurred in 18% of the patients. Scleral indentation was the only statistically significant variable investigated relative to the etiology of chronic eye pain (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Chronic eye pain correlated significantly with large scleral indentation. Patients with more intense pain at the onset of the postoperative period tended to develop chronic eye pain.