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Why do I need an injection in my eye? Part 2

Why do I need an injection in my eye?

Why do I need an injection in my eye? Part 2

Injections into the eye, specifically into the vitreous or gel filled cavity of the eye, are called intravitreal injections. 

In part 1 of Why Do I Need an Injection in my Eye? we talked mostly about anti-vascular endothelial growth factors(anti-VEGF) injections.  Anti-VEGF injections are probably the most commonly injected agents.  They are used to treat wet age related macular degeneration(ARMD)diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vein occlusion.  

Another injected medication used in combination with Anti-VEGF agents to treat wet macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion are steroids.  Additionally, steroids can be used to treat inflammation or uveitis in the eye.  There is a steroid implant called Ozurdex, that looks like a white pellet and can last up to 3 months in the eye.  The down side of steroids are that they can increase eye pressure and cause progression of cataracts.  

Antibiotics are another type of medication that is injected into the eye. Sometimes an infection can develop inside the eye called endophthalmitis.  This can occur after eye surgery or penetrating injury to the eye. The presenting signs and symptoms of endophthalmitis is loss of vision, eye pain and redness of the eye.  Bacteria is usually the cause of the infection, and antibiotics are the treatment.  The best way to deliver the antibiotics is to inject it directly into the eye.  

Another relatively new injection is Jetrea, an enzyme that breaks down the vitreous adhesions which may develop on the surface of the retina.  As we age, the vitreous contracts away from the retinal surface.   When this occurs over the macula, the region responsible for fine vision, the result is visual distortion.  Jetrea is an injection that will dissolve the vitreous adhesions and relieves the traction on the retina.  Prior to the advent of Jetrea, the only treatment would have been surgery to physically remove the vitreous jelly and traction on the retina.   

Above are some of the medications that are commonly injected into the eye to treat various eye conditions. Next time you are at your eye doctors and are told you need an injection of medication, it will likely be one of the above agents

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Sunday, 17 October 2021

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