What is an intravitreal injection?
This is an injection into the vitreous, which is the jelly-like substance inside the eye. It is performed to place medicines inside the eye, near the retina. The medicines may help stop growth of new blood vessels by blocking the effects of growth signals the body sends to generate new blood vessels. These drugs are considered the first-line treatment for all stages of wet macular degeneration. They are also used for swelling in the back of the eye due to diabetes, vein occlusions, or other conditions causing retinal vessels to leak.
Medications that are injected into the vitreous include:
Intravitreal Injection Procedure
Anesthetic (numbing) drops are placed in your eye. Your eye and eyelids will also be cleaned with an iodine antiseptic solution. The eye is then held open with an instrument and the medicine is injected into your vitreous. You may feel slight pressure on the eye when this is done, but you should not experience pain. You may experience a gritty sensation in the eye or the white part of the eye may be bloodshot.. You should not worry about this, it will resolve with time. You might see floaters; however these will become smaller and disappear over a couple weeks. You may undergo repeat injections every few weeks to maintain the beneficial effect of the medicine. In some instances you may partially recover vision as the blood vessels shrink and the fluid under the retina absorbs, allowing retinal cells to regain some function.
If you have pain or decreased vision in the first couple of days after the injection, it is important to call our office. Our staff will discuss if you need to be seen by a doctor.