Q:

What are eye injections used for?

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Quick Answer

Doctors use eye injections to deliver medicine directly inside of the eye. These injections are particularly helpful in cases of macular degeneration, macular edema (swelling or thickening of the macula) and diabetic retinopathy, a condition that causes new blood vessels to grow inside the eye. In addition, eye injections help cure swelling and inflammation within the eyeball, retinal vein occlusion, which is blockage of the veins that carry blood away out of the eye, and infections inside of the eye.

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Full Answer

The procedure takes about 15 to 30 minutes and doesn't hurt. First, the doctor places drops that dilate the pupils onto the patient's eyes; after that, the doctor cleans the eyes and places numbing drops in the eyes. During the injection, a special device keeps the patient's eyelids from closing, and a small needle injects the medicine into the eye. At the end of the procedure, the doctor places antibiotic drops in the eyes.

Some of the side effects for this procedure may include increased pressure in the eye, inflammation, bleeding, damage to the retina or surrounding nerves or structures and infection. More serious side effects may include vision loss or loss of the eye. However, these side effects are very rare, and in most cases they are manageable. A patient should discuss the specific risks with the doctor for each individual situation.

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