With these injections medicines enter the vitreous (the jelly inside the eye). These medicines are usually anti-angiogenic agents or steroids. They are used for the treatment of conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, macular disease, retinal vein occlusions, certain cases of degenerative myopia, inflammatory macular edema or ocular inflammations.
The procedure lasts a few minutes and is performed with local anesthesia in an operating room and under aseptic conditions. The medicine is injected through a very fine needle, once the anesthetic eye drops and the antiseptics have been instilled in the eye. The patient is awake, does not usually feel any pain and may return home after a while.
The frequency of the injections depends on the condition, the drug’s duration of action and the patient’s response to the treatment. For example, in the wet type age related macular degeneration, injections are initially performed monthly for the first 3 months and then the treatment regimen is individualized for each patient.