Injections into the eye – scary but effective

Below is a summary of a recent lecture delivered at the Australian Vision Conference 2020.

Disorders of the blood vessels in the retina are responsible for some of the most common causes of blindness in the world today. Such disorders include macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. The most common way to treat such conditions are by injecting medication directly into the eye-ball. The drugs used are referred to anti-VEGF medications. Below is a brief summary of recent findings:

Injections – first 3 months is critical as there is often a drop-out by patients within this period.

In Australia it has been shown that 7 injections/year looks like the amount that preserves vision. Even so they will need to be continued past this point and into the future..

Early COVID-19 studies have shown that treatment of macula degeneration with anti-VEGF injections SHOULD CONTINUE and not be put on hold.

The next piece of armory to deal with retinal disease is anti-VEGF reservoirs that would be slow-release and potentially last for up to 8-9 months, thus minimising the need for regular injections and therefore improve compliance.