Intravitreal Injection

Intravitreal injection is a procedure to place a medication directly into the vitreous cavity, to treat some retinal conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, central retinal vein occlusion, retinal vascular disease, and infection. This method is most often used to get a higher level of medicine to the retina. The medicine can treat certain eye problems and help protect the vision.

The vitreous cavity comprises a large portion of the eyeball. It is a clear gel-like substance that occupies the space behind the lens and in front of the retina at the back of the eye.

The medications used for intravitreal injection include:
  1. Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF), including:
  • Bevacizumab (Avastin)
  • Ranibizumab (Lucentis)
  • Aflibercept (Eylea)
Anti-VEGF medications interrupt the production of the abnormal blood vessels in the retina and choroid. These drugs help in reducing the fluid leakage from the blood vessels and decrease swelling of the macula.
  1. Steroids, such as ozurdex, triamcinolone, and dexamethasone. The steroid help in reduce the inflammation and fluid leakage.
  2. Antibiotics, such as anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral medications. These drugs are used to treat the infection in the eye such as endophthalmitis and retinitis.
  1. Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  2. Diabectic macular edema (DME)
  3. Macular edema secondary to retinal vein occlusion (RVO), including branch retinal vein occlusion and central retinal vein occlusion
  4. Abnormal growth of blood vessels in the macula due to pathologic myopia, injury to the eye, or unknown reasons
  5. Infection or inflammation in the eye, such as uveitis, endophthalmitis after an accident or surgery or spreading from another part of the body
This procedure helps in reducing the swelling of the retina and the severity of disease. This helps to improve or maintain the vision and reduce the risk of visual loss. However, the results depend on the certain eye conditions of each patient.
  1. Your eyes and the skin around your eyes will be cleaned with antiseptic solutin. Your face will be covered with the sterile cloth.
  2. The doctor will place the equipment to keep your eyes open, to prevent blinking and reduce the risk of infection.
  3. The doctor will inject the medication into the white part of the eyes. You may feel mild pressure during the procedure.
  1. Avoid getting any water in your eye for at least one to three days after the procedure to prevent infection. Do not rub your eyes and avoid getting anything in your eyes.
  2. Please see your doctor immediately if you experience eye pain, redness, and/or discharge or blurry vision after the injection. Please keep all scheduled appointments and treatment plan strictly.
The complications of the procedure include pain, redness, increase eye pressure and infection. Please contact your doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms such as severe pain, eye discharge or visual deterioration after the injection.
  • Please bring a family member or friend with you to the appointment.
  • If you travel for the treatment, we recommend staying at a hotel close to the hospital.
  • Please keep all follow-up appointments. If you must cancel, please contact the staff for the new proper appointment.
  • This procedure does not affect your ability to travel.
The success of the procedure mainly depends on the type, location, and severity of the disease. Early treatment will be more effective and give better results than the late treatment. The success is limited in case of advance disease with extensive damage of the macula.
What if the procedure is not performed?
Please discuss with your doctor about all benefits and risks associated with the procedure.
Your ophthalmologist will determine the other appropriate treatment options, such as laser or surgery, depending on the type and severity of your condition.

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