Eye Injections For Macular Degeneration
One of the most common macular degeneration treatments that our Gold Coast Eye Surgeons perform are eye injections. There are several drugs that can be used, most of which are from the anti-VEGF class.
How do the anti-VEGF drugs work?
The swelling of the macula is caused by leakage of fluid from the blood vessels.
A molecule called the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) is implicated in promoting the leakage and encouraging the growth of abnormal blood vessels.
Lucentis, Eylea and other anti-VEGF drugs block the effect of VEGF on the abnormal vessels and stop them from growing and leaking. This “dries up” the macula.
How is the drug given?
The eye is made numb with the use of anaesthetic drops. The medication is then injected into the jelly (vitreous) that fills the eye.
What to expect the day of an eye injection
On the day make sure you shower and wash your face. Ensure that all make up from the previous day has been thoroughly removed. Please do not use make-up or hairspray on the day of your eye injection.
When you arrive at our Gold Coast eye clinic for your injection, you will be given a number of eye drops to make your eye numb. You will be taken to the operating theatre, so your injection can be given in the sterile environment. You will be made comfortable on a bed and the area around your eye will be cleaned. A small instrument will be used so you don’t need to worry about blinking. You will not see the needle coming towards you. After the injection, you will be helped off the bed and taken to the reception to make your next appointment. If you need to sit down in our recovery area for a little while, you are welcome to do so.
The whole process doesn’t take long and you can resume your normal duties as long as you keep the eye clean. Avoid gardening or swimming on the day of the eye injection.
Most people will see the “spots” of the drug floating around in their vision straight after the injection. This settles down, usually over a few days.
While the thought of having an injection into the eye is scary, the procedure is quick, with minimal, if any, discomfort. Some people don’t feel the injection going in at all, while others may feel a very brief sting or a feeling of pressure. It is quicker and more comfortable than having a blood test – just ask our patients!
Risks of the eye injections for Macular Degeneration
- Redness at the site of the injection is rare
The following side effects are extremely rare:
- Inflammation in the eye
- Retinal tears or detachments
- Cataract (if you have not had cataract surgery)
Please tell us if you have had a stroke or a heart attack in the last three months, as your injection may need to be postponed.
The majority of patient’s have no problem after the injection.
It is important to follow your eye specialist’s instructions.
Phone us immediately on (07) 5592 7900 If you have any of the following symptoms :
- Severe pain not relieved by paracetamol
- Increasing number of floaters
- Loss of vision