An eye injection isn’t usually something that anyone looks forward to! As with most medical procedures though, the thought of it is usually worse than the actual event.
After having an eye injection, patients often say that it wasn’t at all how they imagined. This is why it’s important to speak with your ophthalmologist before getting stressed about a procedure.
If you’re nervous, your ophthalmologist will be happy to talk you through any of your concerns. Part of our training involves putting our patients at ease!
What are intravitreal injections used to treat?
Intravitreal injections are commonly used to administer medications to treat retinal conditions. They are highly effective and growing in popularity as a result.
A recent study conducted notes that the number of annual intravitreal injections in the US is currently 2.5 million. Some conditions intravitreal injections are used to treat include:
Intravitreal injections can also be used to treat conditions such as choroidal neovascularization (CNV), cystoid macular edema (CME), endophthalmitis, and uveitis.
If you’re scheduled for eye injections (or are putting off visiting your ophthalmologist for this reason), here are some things to know:
The best way to prepare for an eye injection procedure is to relax!
Did you know that ophthalmologists study and train for an average of 12 years in both medicine and surgery? This makes them the best possible person to diagnose and treat eye-related conditions.
If you’re nervous about visiting an ophthalmologist, there really is no need! Ophthalmologists are highly-skilled physicians whose main priority is improving your eyes’ health. Making you comfortable in the process is just another part of the job!
If you know that you will be having eye injections and feel a little squeamish, please let your ophthalmologist know! Ophthalmologists work so quickly and efficiently that patients are surprised by how fast procedures end. So, relax and let the experts take over.
Avoid makeup if possible
As much as your ophthalmologist will appreciate your efforts to look your best for their appointment, it’s always better to arrive makeup-free to an appointment where you might require an eye injection. This will help reduce the risk of bacteria entering your eye during the procedure (especially from mascara that can easily flake).
Your ophthalmologist will of course clean down your eye area with antiseptic, but if you arrive at your appointment wearing certain types of makeup, don’t be offended if your ophthalmologist asks you to remove it. Our main goal as ophthalmologists is to do our very best for your eyes and sometimes, we can’t account for the impact of foreign materials entering your eye.
After eye injections, immediately applying makeup or lotion that comes close to the eye area is also not recommended. If you can go an entire day without applying anything to your eye area, you’ll help ensure that no infections arise in the days following your appointment.
Tip: Do you know how often you should replace mascara to avoid eye infections? There are some helpful tips to be found here.
It’s perfectly okay to prepare questions for your ophthalmologist
Did you know that most ophthalmologist’s love to share their knowledge? We train for years to be able to inform our patients about how to care for their eyes. Any opportunity we get to answer your specific questions — we’ll be happy to do so!
If there’s anything really concerning you in the lead-up to your appointment, you can directly contact your ophthalmologist to get clarity on anything you’re unsure about. Whether it’s to do with timing, or the procedure itself, call your ophthalmologist’s office or pop them an email. They’ll be happy to get back to you whenever they can to put your mind at ease!
Tip: If it’s your first visit to an ophthalmologist, allow one and half to two hours for your appointment. If you’re a previous patient, your ophthalmologist will be able to give you a more accurate estimate of time depending on your history, so call ahead if you’re unsure!
Expecting discomfort will likely increase your chances of experiencing discomfort
Most patients who undergo eye injections report no pain during eye injection procedures. This is usually because the area is numbed beforehand. On occasion, patients might notice a pressure or temperature change due to numbing. In general, eye injections are a relatively comfortable experience compared to what patients imagine.
The only time discomfort for eye injection patients is common is when patients are unsettled. For some patients, nerves get the better of them and they can become jittery or irritated during appointments. To avoid this unnecessary discomfort, try to remain calm and ensure that your ophthalmologist is aware of your nervous disposition.
Well-trained and experienced ophthalmologists know how to handle even the most difficult of patients. Appointments can be taken step-by-step for patients who request it. All we ask is that you arrive at your appointment with the knowledge that we’re here to help!
After your procedure, stick to the advice of your ophthalmologist
After eye injections, there’s little or no aftercare required. All we ask is that you avoid exposing your eye to any potential contaminants and try not to rub your eyes if possible.
A patient may report experiencing floaters or some surface irritation in the hours after an eye injection. Otherwise, there should be no major side effects.
Please contact your retina specialist if you experience any of the following after receiving an eye injection:
- Decrease in vision
- Severe eye pain or discomfort
- Increased floaters after the first day
- Increased sensitivity to light
Overall, the main thing to remember with eye injections is that the specialist carrying them out is highly trained to do so. Patients often forget this simple fact, and in the end, the procedure is often not as bad as they envisioned.
Where medical conditions are concerned, it’s understandable that patients get nervous. With eye injections though, there really is no cause for concern!
If you would like to speak with one of our specialists about a condition you’re experiencing or to arrange a consultation, you can contact us here.