Indication for eye injections
- Wet Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- Diabetic macular edema
- Central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) with macular edema
Generally there are no restrictions after such an injection, (e.g. bending over, washing, working, reading, watching TV etc.) There are, however, a few things to note:
On the day of Injection
The disinfectant, which has been used around and on the eye for the injection may irritate the eye a little. A s a result, the treated eye may be a little red and you may feel a degree of foreign body sensation, but this is normal. The susceptibility to this irritation varies individually from patient to patient. In the case of such an irritation, this should improve gradually and disappear after a day or two.
After the injection you may notice small black or transparent dots moving through the visual field. These represent little drops of the medication or small air bubbles, which may stay within the vitreous for a few hours. They will disappear within one or two days after the injection.
There may be a small bleed at the site of the injection, which may be visible as a red dot within the white part of the eye. Such a bleed is harmless but may need several days for it's resorption.
Please use the drops provided four times a day for 5 days, Tylenol or Advil analgesic may be taken if necessary.
You may notice any of the following over the next two days:
- foreign body sensation or grittiness of the eye (this usually heals within 24 hours)
- mild redness of the eye or blurry vision
- floaters or “blobs” in your vision; these will become smaller and disappear over a few weeks
The risk of infection is very small. In such a case, however, it is extremely important that adequate treatment is initiated without delay. Contact your ophthalmologists office, or go to your nearest Emergency Department.
These signs and symptoms include:
- Progressive visual loss: an infection would lead to rapidly progressive loss of vision. This loss of visual acuity would not be limited to the central area (as in “wet” macular degeneration), but the whole visual field.
- Increasing redness: in the case of an infection, the eye will become increasingly red. The redness is different from a haemorrhage (“red, hot, angry eye”).
- Pain: another typical symptom of a developing infection is increasing pain. This sensation would be different from the irritation caused by the disinfectant. There would be a dull aching pain within the eye, which increases over time.
Benefits, limitations and administration
Intravitreal injections work by inhibiting the growth of the abnormal blood vessels and treat swelling of the macula due to AMD, diabetes or CRVO. The goal of treatment is to prevent further loss of vision. Although some patients have regained vision, the medication may not restore vision that has already been lost, and may not ultimately prevent further loss of vision caused by the disease.
After the pupil is dilated and the eye is numbed with anesthesia, the medication is injected in the vitreous, or jelly-like substance in the back chamber of the eye. It is administered by an injection into your eye as needed at regular intervals (about every four weeks/once a month); your ophthalmologist will tell you how often you will receive the injection, and for how long.
You do not have to receive treatment for your condition, although without treatment, the disease can lead to further vision loss and blindness, sometimes very quickly. Other forms of treatment are available.
Known Risks of Intravitreal Eye Injections
Possible complications of the procedure and administration of intravitreal injections include but are not limited to:
- retinal detachment,
- cataract formation (clouding of the lens of the eye),
- glaucoma (increased pressure of the eye),
- hypotony (reduced pressure in the eye),
- damage to the retina or cornea (structures of the eye)
- eye infection (endophthalmitis).
Any of these rare complications may lead to severe, permanent loss of vision.
Side effects may include eye pain, subconjunctival hemorrhage (bloodshot eye), vitreous floaters, irregularity or swelling of cornea, inflammation of the eye, and visual disturbances such as small specks in the vision.