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Who need Intra-vitreal Injection?

Most commonly, this injection method is used to treat below diseases

  • Macular degeneration – Aged people are mostly affected by this condition where retina at times swells with blood and fluid causing macula to progressively damage and even finally result in a vision loss.
  • Macular edema – Regardless of age, macula gets swollen and thicken yet again causing damages and vision loss.
  • Diabetic retinopathy – This condition arises for the people with diabetics. As new immature blood vessels start to form substituting the blocked vessels, a sudden vision loss occur due to internal bleedings and swelling.
  • Other types of Retinal vein blockages – Other reasons such as growth of non-cancerous tumors could also cause the blood veins to get blocked, blood flow to get reduced causing vision problems.
  • Infections inside the eye, inflammation and swelling in the eyeball.

How is it performed?

The injection is a mixture of essential medicines to treat the disease. This is injected directly into the eye close to retina.

This procedure is done at the eye clinic and treated carefully as a surgery, although it is not a complicated one. Ophthalmologist gives anesthetic medications to make the eye numb, sterilizes for disinfections, holds open the eyelids, and injects the medicine using a needle through the white part of the eye to back side of it. This full procedure might only take around 2 to 5 minutes.

Setup of the room

A very clean room is chosen for this procedure, in order to avoid infections. The space is cleaned and sterilized just before the procedure. Some Ophthalmologists prefer doing it in an operation theatre but this is not always the case because this procedure is simpler and can be done outside. At global eye clinic we do it in Operation theatre thus nullifying risk of infection. There will be number of bright lights and you will be required to lie down on a comfortable bed.

Action of Intra-vitreal Injections

These injections control the leakages from the blood vessels within the eye. These can also discontinue the development of abnormal tissues that block and blur the vision. Certain injections function as anti-inflammatory medicine to fight against any infection inside the eye.

How often this Injection is required?

To treat macular degeneration, this treatment is required may be once a month till the disease is treated. These patients may also require lifetime observation and return to the treatment if the symptoms repeat.

The other patients who are affected by this condition due to other reasons might require treatment once in two/three months for about one to two years. However, treatment frequency is recommended by the specialist depending on the severity of the condition.

Getting ready for Intra-vitreal Injection

You do not need any special preparations for the injection. Just relax yourself and be prepared mentally as it is a very simple painless procedure lasting only for few minutes. Your doctor will perform a complete eye examination before he gives you the injection. You should mention everything about your past or present health problems, any medicines you take and any allergies for you.

Special care after the injection

Use all the medicines and eye-drops as specified by the specialist. Visit the specialist as required by him for follow up examinations. If you feel very uncomfortable with the eye seek for urgent attention by your doctor. No special care is required after Intra-vitreal injections and one can resume routine an hour after surgery.

Complications and risks after the Injection

After an injection, you might feel little bit of pressure in the eye, grittiness, irritation, blurred vision or little bit bleeding or redness on the white part of the eye. If they are within few days of the procedure, it can be considered as normal. These feelings improve over the days. Keeping your relaxed and using artificial tears with the opinion of the doctor might help reduce these complications.

However, below complications and risks arise rarely for few patients after an injection.

  • Severe pain on the eye
  • Infection and itching
  • Inflammation or swelling around the eyes
  • Cataract
  • Damage to retina or any nerves around it
  • Progressively deteriorating vision
  • Increased eye pressure
  • Bleeding or eye redness after 3-4 days
  • High sensitivity to lights
  • Need for further injections or a surgery to over come the associated complications
  • Heart attack or Stroke resulting from medications used

The complications occur only for one or two of 1000 injections given, which is a very small percentage. You do not need to fear because the doctors take all possible precautionary actions to avoid complications. Many doctors have claimed that Intra-vitreal injections have been very successful and risks are limited. The main purpose of this injection is to avoid further vision deterioration and doctors say around one third of patients have reported of improved vision also after the procedure.