There are multiple medications to treat eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy (diabetic eye disease), age-related macular degeneration, retinal vein occlusions, eye inflammation and other retinal problems. These drugs are injected into the eye and their main objective is to stop visual loss.

The main group of drugs are anti-VEGF. Anti-VEGF medications block the growth of abnormal veins in the back of the eye. Thes abnormal veins leak fluid between the layers of the retina causing loss of vision. Age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy are the main diseases that produce these abnormal veins.

The anti-VEGF that we have in the market are Eyelia (aflibercept), Lucentis (ranibizumab) and Avastin (bevacizumab).

Photo: "Age-related Macular degeneration before treatment with Aflibercept".

Photo: "Age-related Macular degeneration before treatment with Aflibercept".

There is a tiny implant that slowly releases corticosteroid medication over time (OZURDEX), without the need for monthly injections. It will dissolve naturally and will not need to be removed. This implant is approved to treat 3 conditions in adults Diabetic macular edema (DME), Swelling of the macula following retinal vein occlusion and noninfectious uveítis (an inflamatory disease of the eye) affecting the back of the eye.

The application of these medications is an outpatient procedure that can be performed in a specific area of the office. Before the procedure, anesthetic and antiseptic drops for the eye will be applied, as well as the careful cleaning of the surface of the face to avoid an infection. Afterwards, an eyelid speculum is placed and injected in to the White part of the eye with a very small needle, causing minimal discomfort. Usually, you do not see the needle. You may need several injections for several months depending on the severity of your problem.

Photo: "Age-related Macular degeneration after treatment with Aflibercept".

Photo: "Age-related Macular degeneration after treatment with Aflibercept".

All medications can have side effects. It is very important to understand the benefits and risks that you may have with any treatment. The benefits are clear and have been proven scientifically for many years, thes are to stop the progression of the disesase and delay the loss of vision. The risks inherent in the injection are extremely low, the most worrisome is an infection that if detected early can be controlled by a specialist in the retina.

EACH PATIENT IS DIFFERENT AND YOUR RETINA SPECIALIST WILL DECIDE WHAT IS THE MOST SUITABLE MEDICINE FOR YOUR PROBLEM AND HOW MANY INJECTIONS WILL BE NECESSARY.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR EYES OR YOUR VISION, BE SURE TO ASK. YOUR DOCTOR IS COMMITTED TO PROTECTING YOUR SIGHT.

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