Local Anesthesia

Overview

Local anesthesia uses medicine (anesthetics) to block pain from a part of the body. The medicine affects only the area near where the medicine was injected or applied.

How it's done

Anesthesia medicines are usually given by injection into the area that needs to be numbed. They may also be applied onto the skin or mucus membranes as a liquid or gel or given as eyedrops. This is called topical anesthesia.

Risks

Serious problems (including allergic reactions) are very rare. But if the medicine is given in higher doses or if it enters the bloodstream, there can be some side effects. Examples include ringing in the ears, dizziness, and a metal taste in the mouth.

Credits

Current as of: June 23, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
John M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology
Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine