Intravitreal injection is an injection, which is carried out in the white part of the eye (sclera) 3.5-4.0 millimeters from the cornea (clear part of the eye). A very small volume 0.05ml of medicine is injected into the eye (vitreous), which can be an antibiotic, cortisone or an anti-angiogenic substance.
The procedure is performed with local anesthesia, takes about 10 minutes and is painless. The eye is sterilized with 5% Betadine prior to injection for 5 minutes and then thoroughly flushed with normal saline. After the injection the vision may be blurred, and black floaters may be noticed. It is expected that the eye will be red after the injection, and you may have some blood in the tears. You may feel slight discomfort for 1-2 days and a feeling of a foreign body in the eye. We recommend the use of natural tears in drops 5 times a day for 5 days and gel at night.
VERY IMPORTANT: In the event (1 in 1000) that you have a decrease in vision with extreme pain after the injection please contact your doctor immediately. Also, if you see flashes of light and a shadow like a curtain in your vision contact your doctor immediately. Endophthalmitis and retinal detachment are the most important but also rarest complications of injections.
With intravitreal injections stabilization and improvement of vision is achieved in a large percentage of patients. Their main indications are age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and vein occlusion (branch or central vein). Their main mechanism of action is the inhibition of the leakage from the blood vessels, and the absorption of the retinal fluid. This results in an immediate improvement in vision within a few days. The treatment protocol usually includes 3 injections per month followed by monthly follow-up and re-injection as needed. Of course, this is not the rule and each treatment is individualized.
After the injections, the patient should monitor his vision with an AMSLER GRID:
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING THE AMSLER CHART
If you notice gaps in the panel, distortions, and wavy lines, contact your eye doctor immediately.