What is an intravitreal injection?
An Intravitreal Injection is a procedure in which medicines are injected directly into the jelly-like material inside your eye known as the vitreous.
Which conditions does the intravitreal injection help?
Intravitreal Injections are a common method to treat retinal diseases such as
- Diabetic macular oedema,
- Age-related macular degeneration, and
- Macular oedema secondary to retinal vein occlusions.
How is an intravitreal injection performed?
An intravitreal injection treatment is not a long procedure and can usually be performed in the ophthalmologist’s rooms.
It is essential not to miss your appointments with your ophthalmologist, even if there does not appear to be any problem with vision.
A topical anaesthetic is given before the injection.
Day of the intravitreal injection
This procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis and involves very little discomfort. The steps of the procedure involve your ophthalmologist:
- Numbing your eye with topical anaesthetic drops.
- Special instruments will be used to keep your eye open.
- Your eye will then be washed with an antiseptic solution.
Depending on your condition, your ophthalmologist will:
- Inject the appropriate medication directly into the vitreous of your eye.
It is quite normal to feel pressure during the procedure.
Immediately after the intravitreal injection
- see floaters
- develop superficial bleeding on the white surface of their eyes, or
- experience pain a few hours after the injection.
What should I expect after the intravitreal injection?
The majority of patients will need to have this procedure repeated at regular intervals in order to maintain good vision.
Stages of recovery after the intravitreal injection
To control the disease macular degeneration, Intravitreal Injections are typically continued on an extended basis.
The interval between ongoing injections is determined by the ophthalmologist in consultation with the patient. This may involve monthly injections for three months
Possible risks or complications following the intravitreal injection
You should report to your ophthalmologist if you experience any of the following symptoms after the procedure:
- Flashes in your eye
- A sudden increase in floaters in your eye
- Reduced vision
Any of the above symptoms could be a sign of infection or other complications.
These side effects usually resolve spontaneously or can be managed.