Intravitreal Injection Treatment

This is injection treatment directly into the eye, typically to treat a condition affecting the retina. It is typically given as a course of treatment over several months or years.

Intravitreal Injection Treatment

This is injection treatment directly into the eye, typically to treat a condition affecting the retina. It is typically given as a course of treatment over several months or years.

How is intravitreal injection treatment performed?

No one likes the thought of an intravitreal injection but most patients tolerate it very well. The procedure is usually done in a designated clean room in the outpatient clinic. Anaesthetic and antiseptic drops are given to your eye then you will be asked to lay down on a trolley. A drape may be placed over the eye and a clip used to keep the eye open.

A very fine needle is used to inject the drug through the white of the eye, but you will never see the needle itself. The procedure is over in in a few seconds, after which your vision is checked and you can go home.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Most intravitreal injections are given to treat diseases of the retina, such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion. Intravitreal injections can also be given to treat inflammatory eye diseases or uveitis.

Most intravitreal injections contain proteins that target a molecule called VEGF. These injections are numerous, the most common of them are Eylea (aflibercept) or Vabysmo (faricimab). There are many others available now, including biosimilar products that are effective but significantly lower cost. Another common intravitreal injection Ozurdex. This is a steroid implant used to treat some retinal diseases as well as uveitis.

The main risk of intravitreal injection treatment is a 1 in 1,000 risk of endophthalmitis. This is a serous eye infection that needs urgent treatment and can permanently damage the vision. This needs to be balanced against the risk of not having treatment for sight-threatening eye disease. It is also common for patients to notice the eye is scratchy and watery after injection, although this usually resolves within 24-48 hours.

In some patients, there may be alternatives to intravitreal injection treatment. Some patients with diabetic retinopathy or retinal vein occlusion can benefit from laser treatment, although this is typically less effective than intravitreal injection. Some patients with inflammatory eye disease can be treated with drops, although again is usually less effective than intravitreal injection.