As many as 12 million Americans may be affected by restless leg syndrome (RLS), a chronic nerve condition which causes discomfort, tingling and pain in the legs. The FDA recently approved a non-drug treatment of RLS called Relaxis, a special pad that uses therapeutic vibrations to counteract RLS. Now, Relaxis is being used to help RLS patients avoid general anesthesia before cataract surgery.
Traditionally, cataract surgery is performed under local anesthesia, but patients with RLS often require general anesthesia.
Fred Burbank, M.D., president of Sensory NeuroStimulation Inc., which makes Relaxis, says that cataracts and RLS have a few similarities: they are both age-related and also progressive. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, about half of all Americans will develop a cataract by the age of 75, and the cataract continues to develop until it is removed. RLS also worsens as patients age, and some patients experience repeated attacks that increase in severity throughout the night.
“The U.S. FDA has already validated the usefulness of Relaxis as a therapeutic option for RLS patients, and Dr. Mannarino’s experience, while a relatively small sample and not part of an official clinical trial or current device indication, is promising based on its potential as a solution for the millions of people who have RLS and also may require cataract surgery,” Dr. Burbank said.
If you have RLS and you also are considering cataract surgery, talk to your primary care physician. Relaxis is available by prescription only, but the manufacturer provides patients a no-risk 30-day trial (Source: Yahoo Finance).