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» Everything you need to know about intravitreal injections

Everything you need to know about intravitreal injections

You’ve heard your eye doctor talk about intravitreal injections, but you’re not sure exactly what they entail? Discover all there is to know about this treatment for diabetic macular edema (DME).


What is an intravitreal injection?


The intravitreal injection is a shot that is delivered directly to the eye. The injection is made into the vitreous cavity, at the back of the lens and thus allows the administration of medication for diabetic macular edema.


Thanks to intravitreal injections, ophthalmologists can inject two types of treatment:


  • The anti-VEGF class of drug: these block the production of VEGF proteins, which cause changes to the walls of retinal vessels
  • The corticosteroid class of drug, which reduce inflammation caused by the macular edema


For an optimal result, several intravitreal injections need to be given, at intervals chosen by your eye doctor, based on your profile and the progression of your condition.


A procedure that involves little pain and is risk-free


Receiving an injection in the eye is not a trivial thing, and this prospect can make the patient apprehensive.

In case of stress, here are some tips to help you cope better:


  • Engage in a relaxing physical activity
  • Concentrate on “meditative” activities like reading or home improvement
  • Learn deep breathing techniques


Painless or involving little pain, intravitreal injections carry very low risks. They can, however, cause the appearance of spots in one’s field of vision, which disappear after just a few days.


How should one prepare for an intravitreal injection?


In order to best prepare for an intravitreal injection, it’s important to follow some basic instructions.


  • Don’t wear contact lenses in the week preceding the injection date
  • Take a shower the evening before
  • Avoid wearing make-up on the day of the injection