Relaxing sounds could help people going through cataract surgery to feel less anxious, according to a small new study.
Researchers at Chiang Mai University in Thailand found that exposing patients undergoing cataract surgery — which is often performed with just local anesthesia, meaning the patient is awake while the surgery is being conducted — to binaural beats helped them to feel less anxious and to slow their heart rates. Binaural beats are comprised of two tones at different frequencies, which spur brainwaves that are known to reduce pain and promote relaxation. For this study, researchers exposed patients to binaural beats along with music and natural noises.
More than 3 million people in the United States undergo cataract surgery every year, making it the most common kind of surgery in the country, according to the University of Iowa.