Intravitreal injections are commonly used to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vein occlusion.
This procedure is performed in the office and requires a local anesthetic. Before the medicine is injected, the eye is cleaned with an antiseptic. There may be a spot of blood on the white part of the eye where the injection is given. This spot will usually resolve within two weeks. Many times, patients may experience some irritation or scratchy sensation and some blurry vision after the injection.
Improvements in vision may occur as quickly as a few weeks or may take several injections. Some patients will not experience any improvement in vision. This does not indicate that the medication is not working, instead it may be the disease beginning to stabilize.
MEDICATIONS FOR INJECTIONS
Eylea injection, also known as aflibercept, is a medication that is used to treat the wet form of age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD or ARMD. Age-related macular degeneration affects the macula, the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision.
Eylea also slows the development of vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, a protein that causes abnormal blood vessels to grow and leak, damaging the macula. By slowing the development of VEGF, Eylea aids in the prevention and reversal of vision loss experienced by those patients with macular degeneration. Unlike Avastin or Lucentis, Eylea binds with VEGF and has the potential to last longer than Avastin or Lucentis.
Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2011, Eylea was evaluated in two clinical trials with over 2,000 patients. Side effects that are most commonly reported for patients receiving Eylea include pain at the injection site, vitreous floaters, clouding of the lens of the eye, retinal detachment and an increase in intraocular pressure.