Retinal Injections

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Retinal injections are a safe, quick procedure where a medication is injected into your eye. Your eye will be frozen to keep you comfortable.

The medication is used to treat damage to the retina from blood vessels leaking in the back of your eye caused by blocked blood vessels, diabetic retinal disease, or wet (NOT dry) macular degeneration.

Treatment duration

Typically, your treatment will begin with three to six monthly injections.

For blocked blood vessels and diabetic retinal disease treatment is usually two to three years, while treatment for wet macular degeneration treatment continues for life.

Treatment process

  • The treatment begins with a nurse putting freezing drops in the eye being treated and cleaning the outer eye with a cleaning solution.
  • A retina specialist will use a small needle to inject medicine into your eye in the area between the lens and retina.
  • You shouldn’t feel any pain. You may feel some pressure during the injection.
  • After the injection, your eye is cleaned again. The whole process takes no more than 15 minutes.
  • If you find the injection uncomfortable, you can be given extra freezing in future.

After your treatment

  • DO NOT RUB YOUR TREATED EYE, especially in the first hour, as your eye is still frozen.
  • DO NOT swim, use a hot tub or have dental work done for TWO DAYS after treatment.
  • It’s recommended you do not drive home from your treatment, especially if both eyes were treated.
  • Use lubricating drops, known as artificial tears, for one or two days after treatment. Drops can be purchased over the counter at pharmacies.
  • Normal side-effects may include eye pain or scratchy/gritty irritation, bloodshot eye, temporary new floaters, mild swelling in the eye or a feeling like there’s something in your eye. These side-effects will subside in time.
  • For mild discomfort, take over-the-counter pharmacy pain relief medication.
  • Every patient responds differently in the amount of improvement to their vision they notice and how quickly they notice it. You may notice a difference right away, or it may take some time.

There IS a risk of infection with injections, so call your retina specialist if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Severe eye pain NOT relieved by pain-relieving medication
  • A change in vision: blurry or decreased vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Significant increased floaters
  • Continued redness or swelling of the eye
  • Yellow or green discharge from the eye

If you are unable to reach your retina specialist, visit MISERICORDIA HEALTH CENTRE—OPEN 24/7 FOR EMERGENCY EYE CARE. Go straight to patient registration on the first floor.

If you live outside Winnipeg, please visit your nearest health centre.

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