Age-related Macular Degeneration (or AMD) is a leading cause of blindness in people over 60. It results from a breakdown of the macula, the primary part of the retina, responsible for seeing details. Once this happens, central vision can be severely impacted — your vision can become blurry, distorted, or you may even experience loss of vision.
Macular Degeneration is classified into two types: dry age-related macular degeneration, and wet age-related macular degeneration.
There is no real treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration beyond diligent monitoring of disease progression, and taking preventative measure against developing wet age-related macular degeneration.
In order to halt, or even reverse the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the back of the eye, medication is administered into the eye by injection. The medication is an antibody that binds to the protein responsible for creating the abnormal bloody vessels. As the medication takes effect, the abnormal blood vessels shrink, and new blood vessels are prevented from forming.
An eye injection is a very safe procedure. In it, Dr. Sharma will carefully place a small needle through the white part of the eye so that the tip of the needle will be located in front of the macula. Once there, medication will be injected into the eye and it will spread into the macula. You should not drive yourself to an eye injection appointment as many drops and freezing can interfere with your vision, making driving difficult.
During the surgery, drops and chemicals will be used to sterilize the eye and the eye lids, to lower the risk of an eye infection. The eye will also be frozen using a jelly that will be applied to the front of the eye. An eye speculum will be inserted to control your eyelids. This is necessarily for Dr. Sharma to safely perform the procedure. A small needle will then be carefully inserted through the white part of the eye, in the space just behind the lens and in front of the retina. You might be aware of a “pressure” feeling when the needle goes into the eye. It is common to notice black spots or floaters just after having an eye injection. This is usually related to air bubbles getting in the eye after an injection. These usually only last for a few days. After the procedure, the eye will be washed out to get rid of the chemicals that were used clean and freeze the eye.
Following the procedure, Dr. Sharma recommends that you take antibiotic eye drops for a week to prevent any infection from occurring around the site of the surgery. Because Dr. Sharma uses a strong agent to freeze the eye, you should make sure not to rub the eye after an eye injection. This can cause scratching of the surface of the eye. While this is a very safe procedure, many patients will note temporary floaters (usually these will go away in a few days), temporary bleeding or bruising from the injection site and mild ocular irritation. If you develop severe eye pain after an injection you need to notify us immediately as this could represent an eye infection that is developing.