Intravitreal Injections

General Information
What is an intravitreal injection?
An intravitreal injection is an injection into the vitreous which is the jelly like substance inside your eye. It is performed to place medicines inside the eye, near the retina.
Why is an intravitreal injection performed?
Intravitreal injections are used to deliver drugs to the retina and other structures in the back of the eye, thus avoiding effects on the rest of the body. Common conditions treated with intravitreal injections include diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinal vascular diseases and ocular inflammation.
What is the intravitreal injection procedure?
Once your pupils are dilated, the actual procedure takes around 15 minutes. We will lie you in a comfortable position. Anaesthetic (numbing) drops will be placed in your eye. Your eye and eyelids will be cleaned with an iodine antiseptic solution. This may initially cause a stinging feeling. The eye is held open with an instrument (speculum). The medicine is then injected into your vitreous; you may feel slight pressure and a momentary sharp feeling on the eye when this is done. After the injection procedure, the doctor will check your eye and it will be padded. You will be given antibiotic drops or ointment to use at home.
What are the side effects?
After the injection into your eye, you may have a gritty feeling in and it might look bloodshot. These side effects will resolve over a few days. You might see floaters which will become smaller and disappear over one to two weeks.
Are there any risks?
Injecting any medication into the eye may result in increased pressure within the eye, inflammation, or more serious side effects such as cataract formation, bleeding within the eye, damage to the retina (retinal detachment or tear) or other eye structures. These side effects are rare, estimated at less than 1 per 1000 injections. It is possible that you may get an infection within your eye (endophthalmitis) as a result of the intravitreal injection. The chance of an infection is low (estimated at 1-2 per 1000 injections). An infection may lead to vision loss, or in rare cases, loss of the eye. There is a less than 1 per 1000 risk of stroke.
What else do I need to know?
Please allow at least 1- ½ hours for your appointment. This will allow dilation of your pupils, the injection, and review afterwards by your doctor.
Before you leave, you will have another appointment made for review, depending on the type of injection you have received.
It is very important for you to tell us about any health conditions that you have, all the medications that you are taking, and especially any allergies to medications that you have had in the past.
Post Intravitreal Injection Care
  • Please try to keep your eye closed under the eye pad: you may remove it in two hours.
  • Please use the antibiotic ointment:
  • Two hourly for the first day.
  • Then four times a day for three days.
  • Paracetamol or a simple analgesic may be taken if necessary.
  • You may notice any of the following over the next two days:
  • Foreign body sensation or grittiness of the eye: this can be quite severe in the first few hours after the treatment if you have accidentally opened the eye under the pad and have scratched the cornea (front window of the eye).
  • Mild redness of the eye
  • Blurry vision
  • Floaters or “blobs” in your vision: these will become smaller and disappear over a few weeks
  • Please report if you have any of the following
  • Severe pain
  • Marked worsening of vision or loss of vision
  • In case of emergency please call
  • Waverley Eye Clinic on 9886 5522 during business hours, or
  • The Royal Victorian Eye & Eye Hospital on 9929 8666 after hours
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