Intraocular Injections for AMD, Diabetes and Retinal Vein Occlusions
Intravitreal injection is a procedure by your ophthalmologist to place a medication directly into space in the back of the eye called the vitreous cavity, which is filled with a jelly-like fluid called the vitreous humor gel.
What are Intravitreal Injections used for?
Ophthalmologists at Vision Associates utilize intravitreal injections to administer medications for a variety of retinal conditions. The most common conditions treated by intravitreal injections include macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion. Antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral drugs are also used to treat patients with infections in the eye such as endophthalmitis and retinitis. To aid in the repair of a retinal detachment, in some cases an injection is used to insert a small gas bubble.
What to expect during the procedure?
At Vision Associates, we perform intravitreal injections within our office. The entire procedure takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. First, to eliminate the pain of the injection, the eye and eyelids are anesthetized using drops or gel. In some cases, a small numbing injection may be given. To keep the eyes open throughout the procedure an eyelid speculum is often used. Once the eye is prepped for injection, the eye doctor will have you look in a particular direction while the medicine is injected through the pars plana (the white part of the eye) with a very small needle. Patients will typically feel pressure, but no pain due to the anesthetics. After the injection, the speculum is removed, and the eye is cleaned.
What to expect after the injection?
Severe complications are very rare with intravitreal injections, but you may experience some side effects including:
- Retinal detachment
There are usually no restrictions following the injection apart from avoiding potential contamination of the eye on the day of the injection. However, you should contact Vision Associates if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Eye pain or discomfort
- Increased floaters after the first day
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Decreased vision
- Extreme dryness or irritation
Depending on the disease being treated, a follow-up visit will be required about 5-7 weeks after your procedure.
To learn more about intravitreal injection, or to schedule a procedure, please contact Vision Associates at 419-578-2020.