What are Anti-VEGF Treatments?
Anti-VEGF treatments involve the injection of a specific group of medicines known as anti-VEGF drugs into the eye to stabilize or improve vision in patients with certain eye conditions.
How do Anti-VEGF treatments work?
Anti-VEGF medicines block the action of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is a protein produced by your body that stimulates the growth of new blood vessels. When injected into the eye, the anti-VEGF medication inhibits the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the back of the eye which may leak resulting in swelling that can harm your vision.
Indications for Anti-VEGF Treatments
Anti-VEGF treatments can be used to treat the following eye conditions:
- Diabetic macular edema
- Wet age-related macular degeneration
- Macular edema due to retinal vein occlusion
- Myopic choroidal neovascularisation
Types of Anti-VEGF Treatments
The main anti-VEGF treatments which are considered safe and effective for the treatment of retinal disease are:
Preparation for Anti-VEGF Treatment
You must inform your doctor about:
- Medications or vitamins you are currently taking as certain medications may interact with the anti-VEGF drugs and cause eye problems
- Allergies to medications
- Health conditions such as uncontrolled hypertension or eye infections
Anti-VEGF Treatment Procedure
The anti-VEGF treatment procedure involves the following steps:
- You will be seated in a comfortable semi-reclined position in a chair.
- Your eye will be cleaned to prevent infection.
- Your face and the area around the eye will be draped to maintain sterile conditions.
- Pain-relieving eye drops will be administered to numb the eye.
- A device may be placed to keep your eyelids open.
- The injection is administered into the white portion of your eyeball which is known as the sclera. It takes 15-20 seconds and most patients do not experience pain during the procedure.
- Your eyesight will be assessed post-injection and antibiotic drops may be administered, after which the drapes are removed.
Post-Operative Care after Anti-VEGF Treatments
- You may be provided with antibiotic eye drops that you should use for 3-4 days to prevent infection.
- Avoid swimming or getting water into your eyes for a couple of days after the injection.
- There may be a slight discomfort, redness, and ‘floaters’ in the eye which will go away on its own in a few days.
- Most patients require a course of 3 anti-VEGF injections administered at 4-week intervals to obtain maximum benefit.
Risks of Anti-VEGF Treatments
Anti-VEGF treatments are very safe however there is a minimal risk of complications that include:
- Eye infection
- Eye pain
- Increased eye pressure
- Cataract formation
- Detachment of the retina
Benefits of Anti-VEGF Treatments
Timely treatment with anti-VEGF injections can improve central detailed vision making it easier for patients with certain eye conditions to read, watch TV, and recognize faces.
- General Eye Examination & Care
- Digital Retinal Photography
- Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
- Ocular Ultrasound
- Visual Field Testing
- Anti-VEGF Treatments
- Vitreoretinal Surgery
- Retinal Laser Therapy
- Pattern Laser Technology
- Cataract Surgery in People with Retinal Diseases
- Cataract Surgery in Diabetics
- Intraocular Lens (IOL)
- Premium Intraocular Lens (IOL)
- Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)
- Pediatric Ophthalmology
- Ultrasound Biomicroscopy
- Heidelberg Retinal Tomography