Injection of drugs into the vitreous body (intravitreal injection)
Intravitreal injections are used for drugs that must be administered directly into the eye to be effective. Such injections are currently used very frequently, and thanks to these new treatments, many conditions for which no treatments were available just a few years ago can now be improved. As a rule, the injections must be given at regular intervals of 1-3 months and over a longer period of usually at least 2 years. Common clinical pictures are wet age-related macular degeneration, macular swelling (macular edema) in diabetes and after thromboses in the eye (retinal vein occlusion). Intravitreal injections are performed on an outpatient basis after anaesthesia using drops and are hardly painful. On the day of the injection there is often a slight irritation of the eyes with tears and scratching, but this disappears within 24 hours. The risk of infection is small (less than 1 in 10,000 injections), but not entirely non-existent. The most important warning symptom of an infection is the rapid and significant decrease in visual acuity a few days after treatment. In this case, the ophthalmologist must be consulted or informed immediately in order to take the necessary measures quickly and to limit irreversible damage to the eye as far as possible.