Intravitreal injection of a drug is a very common and effective treatment option for a number of eye conditions, including wet age-related macular degeneration, retinal vein occlusions and diabetic maculopathy. They are very effective at treating the above conditions, particularly when the problem is caught early. They are very effective at preventing further vision loss and the vision does improve in a significant proportion of patients.
The injection is always done with anaesthesia, which is most often a gel drop that numbs the surface of the eye. The injection is done under sterile conditions and is delivered into the mid-vitreous cavity of the eye. The injection is done from the side and hence is not seen by the patient. The injection is most often painless, but there can be some mild discomfort during it and after for a few hours. There is commonly a floater in the vision for a day or two after the injection, which is the drug inside the eye.
Like all drugs, the affect wears off over time and hence it is very common to need repeat intravitreal injections over time.
The most common drugs that are used for intravitreal injection are Lucentis, Eylea, Avastin and Triesence.
Intravitreal injections can either be done in the consulting rooms, or in a day surgery.
Intravitreal injections occur when drugs are injected into the cavity of the eye. They are a very common form of treatment for retinal problems like macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease and vein occlusions.
- The eye is anaesthetised with some drops initially followed by some local anaesthetic delivered with a fine needle.
- The eye is cleaned with Betadine antiseptic.
- A speculum is used to keep your lids apart.
- The drug is injected into the eye.
This process usually takes less than 5 minutes.
* Patients often experience some grittiness for 1-2 days. This is the result of the anaesthetic and antiseptic. You will be given some lubricant drops for this.
* Redness: Occasionally a vessel on the white part of the eye (sclera) bleeds. This leads to a “subconjunctival haemorrhage”. This is like bruising of the eye. It will resolve over the next 1-2 weeks with no problems.
* Mobile Specks In Vision
This represents “air bubbles” in the medicine. They are benign and will disappear in 1-2 days.
The likelihood of these occurring are very low. They include:
- Internal bleeding
- Retinal Detachment