Intravitreal injections, performed by a qualified ophthalmologist, allow placing a specific drug directly into the space in the back of the eye called the vitreous cavity, near the retina.
The drugs that are currently approved and used for intravitreal injections are the (inhibitors of the formation of new abnormal blood vessels) and cortisone.
VEGF inhibitors are used both in the treatment of AMD (wet or exudative form), and macular edema, including diabetic macular edema due to leaking blood vessels.
The injection is performed in the operating room, under sterile conditions and topical anesthesia, after administration of anesthetic eye drops. The procedure is very fast, lasting about a minute, with little or no discomfort.
In exudative macular degeneration, a single injection per month is performed for a total of a three months therapy cycle.
The effectiveness of the intravitreal injections depends on the type of disease treated and the degree of disease progression.
Following therapeutic protocol, the patient must undergo several three-month treatment cycles.
After intravitreal injections, antibiotic and cortisone eye drops are prescribed to control inflammation and prevent infections.
Even though they are not so bothersome, intravitreal injections present a potential risk of infection. For this reason, ophthalmologists tend to delay the time between each cycle of injection therapy.