Giving the drug into the eye only through injections has led to a turning point in the treatment of diseases of the internal structures of the eye, especially when it comes to diseases of the yellow spot – the point of clear vision.
The eye system is closed and drugs hardly penetrate it when we apply them in the form of drops, we give them in the form of tablets, muscular or venous injections. Precisely because of that, a turning point in ophthalmology, especially in the treatment of diseases of the posterior segment of the eye, and above all yellow spots, was achieved by applying the drug to the eye itself, to the vitreous – by intravitreal injections.
In that way, the effect of the drug is provided at the place where the drug should act, and the effect of the drug on the whole organism is avoided.
How did we get the injections in the eye?
The use of this type of therapy began with the use of antibiotics in the treatment of infectious inflammation of the internal structures of the eye (endophthalmitis), and then with the use of corticosteroids in the treatment of nonspecific inflammation of the inner layers of the eye (uveitis).
This was followed by the application of antibodies to vascular endothelial growth factor – VEGF. VEGF is created in the eye when there is not enough circulation, and therefore no oxygen, which results in the growth of pathological blood vessels and increased permeability of blood vessels. Another logical consequence is the accumulation of blood and fluid. These pathological changes most often occur in the macula, our point of clear vision, which leads to vision loss and metamorphopsia – the deformation of the image we see.
The use of this therapy (anti-VEGF) in the world began with the introduction of the drugs Bevacizumab (Avastin) and Ranibizumab (Lucentis) in 2004, while this therapy arrived in Serbia in 2008. A new drug called Aflibercept (Eylea) arrives in 2011.
The importance of therapy?
Thanks to this type of treatment, macular degeneration has been stopped, which has a significant percentage share in global blindness and low vision, especially in highly developed countries, due to extended life expectancy.
Anti-VEGF therapy has improved the treatment of other vascular – ischemic eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema, central and branch venous occlusion, prematurine retinopathy as well as numerous other pathologies, less common.
How are injections given into the eye?
Intravitreal applications are painless – the drug is applied to the eye through the thinnest needles, with previous local anesthesia. Applications are performed in the operating room with air disinfection with UV lamps, and doctors use hats, masks, coats, tights and sterile gloves. In this way, this invasive procedure becomes completely safe.
Where can I look for a service?
This type of treatment is definitely recommended to everyone who needs it, which is the final decision of the experts. Early-stage therapy, led by an ophthalmologist-retinologist, can give significant results in preserving and improving central vision.
If you think you have a problem with a yellow spot, contact the Specialist Ophthalmology Clinic of Dr. Sandra Jovanović in Novi Sad for an examination and counseling. Dr. Sandra Jovanović is an ophthalmologist-retinologist and a long-term expert, as well as the owner of the specialist ophthalmology practice of the same name.
For detailed information call 021 / 403-174 or 066 / 403-174.
The surgery is located on 1A Patriarch Pavle Boulevard, roundabout, high ground floor.
This article was also published on the 021.rs portal.
Author of the text: Dr. Sandra Jovanović, ophthalmologist-retinologist