There are a number of drugs that have been developed after years of research into retinal diseases. These wonderful drugs work by blocking the action of a protein known as ‘VEGF” or vasoendothelial growth factor. VEGF is the primary cause of blood vessels growing abnormally and bleeding or leaking. It is particularly prominent in conditions like:
Many trials have established that anti-VEGF injections work to stop or at least limit the damage done in blood vessel conditions that damage the retina and today it is the standard of care for this condition.
Ant-VEGF is given as an injection directly into the affected eye. Typically, this is done in the clinic with local anaesthetic. Very little discomfort is associated with the procedure which in itself only takes less than 30 seconds. A majority of the time will be spent cleaning and numbing the eye to prepare you for the delivery of the drug.
Some people can notice small floaters and intermittent blurring after the procedure but this often resolves after a few hours. The interval between injections is determined by routine follow ups and scans of the back of the eye to determine its effect on your condition.
Anti-VEGF drugs are very safe and have no adverse effects within the eye. There has been a theoretical risk of it increasing the rate of stroke and heart attack but increasingly there seems little evidence to support such a contention. The other major problems caused by Anti-VEGF injections are damage to the lens of the eye by misdirection of the needle, retinal detachment, and infection, however the chances of this occurring are very slim.
Occasionally some patients get pain a few hours after the injection. This is usually related to the use of the antiseptic solution and only rarely indicates a severe complication such as infection.
After the procedure, our friendly nurses will give you clear instructions on how to take care of your eye for the next 24hrs and will instruct you to contact our rooms if there are any issues.