What are Intravitreal Injections Used For?

If a retina eye specialist has recommended intravitreal injections to preserve your eyesight, you’re probably wondering what this type of treatment entails.

No one likes to hear “injections” particularly when it involves the eye, so the very sound of this treatment can seem frightening. Rest assured that intravitreal injections are safe, effective and have mild discomfort.

Let’s learn more.


What are Intravitreal Injections Used For?

Intravitreal injections are generally used to treat retinal diseases such as the following:

● Diabetic retinopathy
● Macular degeneration
● Macular edema
● Retinal vein occlusion

Because these eye diseases can cause a loss of vision, it’s very important that they are treated quickly and effectively. Intravitreal injections are most successful for wet age-related macular degeneration. Though it’s less common than the dry form, it’s a leading cause of blindness.


What is Injected into the Eye?

Various medications can be injected into the eye, such as Lucentis, Avastin, Macugen or Triamcinolone. When the medication is injected, it helps patients maintain their vision and prevent any further loss. In some cases, patients may even see their vision improve. It depends on what’s wrong with the eye and what medication is being used to treat it.


What is the Procedure Like?

Intravitreal injections are performed in an eye doctor’s office.  To make you more comfortable, your eye will be numbed with anesthetic drops. Your eyes will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution and then the medication is injected into the eye. Each patient is unique, so you will have your own care plan. It may require repeat injections every few months, depending on your condition and its severity.


Are There Side Effects?

It’s possible to experience some scratchiness or pain in the eye, but these symptoms generally subside on their own. If they don’t, there are eye drops that can be used to relieve the symptoms. Other side effects that may occur include floaters, increased eye pressure, inflammation and hemorrhages. More serious effects include bleeding, infection or retinal tears.


Discuss your route of care with a retina eye specialist. When it comes to preserving your vision, intravitreal injections can be a safe and effective option.