RCH Post Injection Video
Welcome to Retina Consultants of Houston.
Hello, I'm Doctor Richard Fish from Retina Consultants of Houston and today we will be talking about common front of the eye problems in patients who have had or are having intravitreal injections. Many conditions these days are treated with intravitreal injections. Usually a class of strong medications known as anti-VEGF agents. Patients with wet, age related macular degeneration, branch, or central retinal vein occlusions or diabetic retinopathy with diabetic macular edema are usually given these injections on a very regular basis, frequently as often as once a month. Intravitreal injections are given directly into the eye after extensive numbing of the eye with topical anesthetic medicines.
In order to prevent infection by the normal bacteria that surround the eye and eyelids, the retina physician almost always uses a betadine solution around and into the eye prior to the injection. Repeated intravitreal injections are necessary for many retinal diseases and even though each of us does the exact technique every time the patient has an injection, some people do develop some after affects of injections. Let's look at some common symptoms patients have.
The combination of strong numbing medicine and betadine to disinfect the eye can cause redness and irritation of the eye. As long as there is no severe pain or loss of vision, redness and irritation usually resolve within a day or two. Using lots of artificial tears during the day and bland lubricating eye ointment at bedtime can speed the recovery. If the patient has severe eye pain and/or loss of vision, you should call your retina physician's office immediately as these can be early warning of a rare infection of the eye. During the numbing or actual injection, some patients may get a small, medium, or even a large accumulation of blood under the transparent membrane covering the eye. This is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage and is usually alarming to the patient and family members but the condition itself is harmless and resolves on its own in a week or two with no treatment whatsoever.
Rarely injection patients can get an abrasion of the clear window in front of the eye. A corneal abrasion causes severe pain usually within a few hours after the injection. And usually with minimal loss of vision. These abrasions need to be pressure patched which is almost always done by an eye doctor. In a rare circumstance, the patient or family can obtain eye patches and surgical tape and pressure patch the eye at home using the following technique. Several strips of surgical tape about six inches in length are precut and ready to use. Two gauze eye pads, one folded in half, the other used regularly are placed over the eye and tape is used to secure the patches. Notice how the tape is used to pull up the cheek and to pull down the forehead. This pressure keeps the eye closed, prevents the eye from blinking and leads to speedier recovery of scratched or abraded corneas.
I hope this video has been helpful. For more information on retinal diseases, surgery, our physicians and office locations, please visit our website, www.houstonretina.com. Thank you.