Intravitreal injections

Intravitreal injections for the treatment of retinal diseases

Intravitreal injections are a widely used treatment method in ophthalmology, which is used to inject the medicament into the vitreous body to treat retinal diseases. It is performed under local (drip) anesthesia under sterile conditions (operating room).

Often, the disease begins in only one eye, and the feeling of symptoms can occur late, so preventive visits to check eye health are especially important.

Treatment process and benefits

More recently, it was not yet possible to help such patients. Now the latest technology allows you to temporarily or even completely stop the development of retinal dystrophy.

The procedure in which medications are injected into the eyeball ensures the delivery of the drug to damaged tissues of the eye.

Most commonly used medicines:

• Anti-VEGF (ranibizumab, bevacizumab, aflibercept) – anti-VEGF medication has been available for intravitreal injection since 2004 for the treatment of retinal dystrophy. They block the action of the vasoproliferative factor, which stimulates the growth of endothelial cells and the formation of new (fragile) blood vessels. Usually, 3 injections are made, and then the state of the retina is monitored using an optical coherence tomography (OCT). The patient should use eye drops before and after the injection to prevent inflammation.

• Steroids (Kenalog) – for the treatment of a wide range of eye diseases, such as retinal edema after cataract surgery.

Causes and contributing factors

Age is a major risk factor for retinal dystrophy.

Age-related macular degeneration is divided into two forms: dry and wet. For the treatment of the dry form, preventive therapy is most important, and for the treatment of the wet form, anti-VEGF medication.

It is important to track and compare changes in the state of the retina using OCT (optical coherence tomography), which allows you to notice minimal changes and take timely action.