The thought of a needle being injected in to the eye is a frightening thought for many, and rightfully so. Having something poking or prodding at you can be uncomfortable. But eye injections aren’t as invasive as you might think. You might be surprised to learn that eye injections are not so scary after all. In fact, they are not as uncomfortable as most believe.
So why do so many ophthalmologist perform injections? According to Dr. Saralyn Notaro Rietz, injections are a mode of treatment which has become popular over the past 10 years. Medicine is delivered directly to the area of the eye (usually the retina) that is abnormal. Basically, this is an efficient and effective method of drug delivery.
The process takes only a couple of minutes. Before the injection, patients are administered an anesthetic and an antiseptic. Due to the anesthetic, the actual injection itself is almost painless. However, patients may report some irritation due to the sterilization, but this is a brief feeling that quickly fades. Injections are also a great alternative to laser treatment, which usually leaves scars on the eye. Injections are scar-free and just as, if not more effective.
The diseases and conditions that are treated with injections tend to be chronic, such as diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration, meaning patients will receive a series of injections to treat their condition.
“Think of it like high cholesterol or high blood pressure. It doesn’t just go away. Often, they are treatments that go on for great lengths of time,” Dr. Notaro said.
Injections are also used to treat other conditions, such as swelling and inflammation or retinal vein occlusion, which is when there is blockage of the veins that carry blood away from the retina and out of the eye.
It is important to remember that these injections treat chronic conditions, negative side effects are very rare, and it will help protect your vision.