Eylea, Lucentis and Avastin for age related Macular Degeneration (AMD), vein occlusion and diabetic eye problems

These medications have been developed for the treatment abnormal blood vessels in the eye. Originally, they were used mainly for wet macular degeneration but recently their use has been extended to other conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusions amongst others.

These medications block the main chemical responsible for the growth of new blood vessels and their leakage. They have undergone many medical trials and have been used in thousands of patients with wet AMD. Eylea and Lucentis have been found to be effective in reducing loss of vision in about 90% of patients and even improving vision in a significant percentage. Eylea and Lucentis are approved and funded through Medicare and Veterans’ Affairs by authority prescription under the PBS and RPBS.

Prior to treatment you will be examined clinically and undergo various tests, which include a scan of your retina called OCT, and fluorescein angiogram if necessary. The injections are typically administered monthly, at least for the first 3 injections, and often less frequently after that, depending on the response of your condition to the treatment.

The Procedure

As you lie in a comfortable position, anaesthetic drops will be placed in your eye. Your eye and eyelids will then be cleaned with an iodine or chlorhexidine antiseptic solution. This may sting a little. Your eyelids will then be held open with a small wire speculum and the drug injected into the vitreous; you may feel slight pressure and a momentary twinge as this is done.

In some cases after the injection, you may see black spots for a short while which is common and normal. Please advise your doctor if you experience any recalcitrant pain or significant visual loss.

Intravitreal Injections

The rear part of the eye is filled with a jelly called the vitreous. Injections into the vitreous deliver medicines in high concentrations near the retina. This helps to reduce the effects on the rest of the body.