Intravitreal injections are commonly used to treat retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and retinal vein occlusion. These diseases often cause blindness and should be treated as early and as thoroughly as possible. FDA-approved medications such as Lucentis, Avastin or Macugen are injected directly into the eye to help patients maintain their baseline vision and keep vision loss at a minimum. Many patients often see an improvement in their vision from these injections as well.
Intravitreal injections are especially effective in treating wet age-related macular degeneration, which, although less common than the dry form, accounts for more than 90% of blindness caused by the disease.
This procedure is performed in your doctor's office and requires only a local anesthetic. Before the medication is injected, the eye is numbed with anesthetic eye drops to help minimize discomfort. The eye is then cleaned with an antiseptic solution and held open with a wire speculum. The medication is then injected directly into the eye. Intravitreal injections are usually administered once a month to maintain eye health in patients with degenerative eye diseases.
Patients may experience some pain or scratchy sensations after the injection. Although rare, side effects may include eye pain, conjunctival hemorrhage, floaters, increased eye pressure and inflammation of the eye. Patients can minimize the risk of these side effects by choosing a skilled and experienced doctor to treat all of their eye conditions. If you are interested in learning more about intraocular injections, please call us today to schedule an appointment.