A common in-office procedure is an eye injection for treatment of various eye conditions, such as wet macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or vein occlusion.  

It is normal to be anxious prior to your first eye injection but knowing what to expect may alleviate some anxiety.  

Your eye will be numbed with topical anesthetic drops. Usually, a cotton-tipped applicator soaked in anesthetic will be held against the white part of the eye to numb it.  Sometimes, a thick gel may also be used for numbing. Once the eye is numbed, it will then be cleaned and a small instrument will be used to hold the eye open. During the actual injection, some patients feel pressure while others may feel a quick sting. Each person will have a different experience and each injection will be different.

The medicine is injected into the white part of the eye. Sometimes a blood vessel may be encountered during the injection and you may notice a little redness on the outside of the eye. This is purely a cosmetic symptom and the redness will disappear within the next couple of days. Patients may also experience some mild irritation after the injection due to the drops that are placed in the eye. I usually recommend over-the-counter artificial tears drops to use after the injections. Usually, the eye should feel normal by the next day.  

Another common symptom after an injection are floaters. These floaters usually appear as small bubbles in the lower half of your vision, but they will disappear in in a day or two.  

There are no activity restrictions after the injection and no antibiotic drops are needed.  

Things to watch for after the injection:

- If your eye gets painful or redness develops a couple of days after the injection, then you should call to be seen.  

- If your vision declines or you notice increased or hundreds of floaters then you should call to be seen.

Otherwise, patients are usually initially seen once a month after they first start injections

Article contributed by Dr. Jane Pan


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