Local Anesthetic Is Painful? Am I The Only One?

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rats_and_cats
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05 Feb 2017, 10:14 pm

I'm starting to wonder if this is an autism-related thing. I recently went to the doctor after I found out my one eye was bright red, and in order to check it for scratches he had to first numb it, then put dye in it. The anesthetic eye drops were agonizingly painful. The feeling of numbness itself was painful. This also happens with dental numbing gel and the apparently-not-Novocaine-but-I-don't-know-the-name-for-it. I've never needed it on other parts of my body but I would assume it's the same. They're also not super effective with actually blocking pain unless I'm high (laughing gas). Doctors don't seem to understand. They think I'm just psyching myself up. So... am I weird? Or is this an autism thing?



8484xtv
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05 Feb 2017, 10:29 pm

Could it be a part of the body that's near that you're feeling? I remember one time I was getting a filling and they put the numbing stuff in, and I said like 3 times it was still "hurting" and they kept putting more in asking if I was serious. I realized that it was just the cold water splashing against my other teeth because I have cold sensitive teeth.



rats_and_cats
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05 Feb 2017, 10:48 pm

8484xtv wrote:
Could it be a part of the body that's near that you're feeling? I remember one time I was getting a filling and they put the numbing stuff in, and I said like 3 times it was still "hurting" and they kept putting more in asking if I was serious. I realized that it was just the cold water splashing against my other teeth because I have cold sensitive teeth.


Hmmm... it's possible, but that doesn't explain why my eye hurt. It didn't even hurt in the first place before he put the eye drops in.



Hippygoth
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06 Feb 2017, 3:37 am

I've often wondered about local anesthetics...they don't hurt me in themselves but they often fail. I've had some rotten experiences as a result. Perhaps it is an autistic thing?



mr_bigmouth_502
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06 Feb 2017, 4:49 am

Anaesthetics are supposed to prevent the perception of pain, and autism affects perception of sensory inputs, so it would make sense if it affects how anaesthetics work.


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DataB4
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06 Feb 2017, 6:50 am

The eyedrops do hurt at first, even my eye doctor says so. It doesn't always go away either, but parts of the eye are numb.

I have a friend who always refuses the numbing injections at the dentist. I thought he was trying to be macho at first and thought that was silly, but he went on to say that for some reason, the injections don't work well. Since the process is painful, he'd rather put up with the drill than deal with the injections.

I also had a bad experience when they injected my toe before a procedure. It hurt a lot and kept hurting, even after they told me that the needle was out. It stopped after a minute or so though.



biostructure
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06 Feb 2017, 12:37 pm

Local anesthetics sting at first for quite some people, but then after a few minutes there should be no feeling, neither of pain from the injections or from the procedure. The sting is likely due to the fact that in addition to blocking the molecules that allow nerves to transmit impulses, they activate irritant receptors (the ones that respond to hot pepper, garlic, etc.). It's kind of a race to see which happens first--whether the irritant receptors are activated before the nerves can't fire anymore and you wouldn't know anyway.

I suspect that in some of us on the spectrum, these irritant receptors may be prone to being hypersensitive. Maybe we are more prone to feeling this initial burning, then. There's also the fact that some anesthetic injections also have epinephrine (adrenaline) in them to constrict blood vessels. I remember once as a kid I had a minor oral surgery and felt jittery for maybe 5-10 minutes after the injection, more than I had earlier due just to the anxiety about the procedure. Maybe for some people the vessel constriction spreads far enough out of the numbed area that it can be felt as pain.

Once the numbness sets in, though, it should be nearly complete. I remember when I had tongue surgery, the injections into the tongue felt kind of like it was getting "zapped", but afterward even cutting in that super-sensitive area was completely imperceptible, aside from the pressure of the tools on the other parts of the mouth.