Macular Degeneration Animation

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that affects the macula.




Macular Degeneration cross-section imageAbout macular degeneration.

The macula is the part of the eye that allows us to see fine detail. When the macula is damaged, the central vision may become blurry, distorted or dark.

The macula is located on the retina, the light-sensitive, back, inner lining of the inside of the eye. A healthy macula gives us the sharp, central vision we need for “straight-ahead” activities such as driving or reading.

Macular Degeneration is the result of gradual deterioration of the tissues in the macula. When the macula is damaged, the central vision may become blurry, distorted or dark.



AMD is typically classified into two general types: Dry and Wet. More than 8 out of 10 cases of macular degeneration fall into the “Dry” classification.

Dry AMD occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down over time. Debris from the pigment layer and surrounding tissues accumulates and forms deposits called drusen. The presence of drusen is the first sign of early, DRY AMD. Early symptoms can range from undetectable, to blurring and distortion of the central vision. In the advanced stages of this painless disease, complete central vision loss can occur.

Wet AMD, is more serious than Dry. This form of macular degeneration occurs when the accumulating drusen cause inflammation. The inflamed cells release growth factors which cause abnormal blood vessels to form under the retina. These fragile vessels leak fluid and blood into the layers of the macula, which is where the term “wet” macular degeneration came from. Wet AMD can lead to rapid decrease in vision and if left untreated, can cause permanent vision loss.

There are several options available to retinal specialists for the treatment of wet AMD. Currently, there are no FDA approved treatments for dry macular degeneration. However, most eye doctors will offer a proactive plan with numerous preventative measures, including lifestyle adjustments and nutritional recommendations, all aimed at slowing the progression of this vision-robbing eye disease.

Anti-VEGF Eye Injection

Anti-VEGF eye injections are a treatment for macular degeneration & diabetic retinopathy




Lucentis eye injection treatment for macular degeneration and vein occlusion

Wet macular degeneration is one of the most common causes of blindness, anti-VEGF eye injection is a treatment.

Anti-VEGF eye injection is a modern treatment for wet AMD, which develops in about 1 in 10 cases of macular degeneration. Above is a video explaining how Anti-VEGF eye injection is used to treat wet macular degeneration. There are two types of macular degeneration: dry and wet macular degeneration. In the wet form of AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow in the back of the eye. Sometimes these vessels leak blood or fluid that causes blurred vision or distorted vision. Without treatment, vision loss may be quick and severe.

The patient should consult their retina specialist / ophthalmologist about signs and symptoms of Anti-VEGF side effects. Eye injections drugs are given by an eye surgeon. It is better and more effective than traditional laser eye surgery because it does not leave scarring in the macular central portion of vision.



Anti-VEGF side effects

Anti-VEGF eye injection for treatment of macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy has few and rare side effects. The possibility of infection is extremely important to understand and the patient should consult their retina specialist / ophthalmologist about signs and symptoms of Anti-VEGF side effects.

Other uses for Anti-VEGF eye injection

More recently, Anti-VEGFs were approved for retinal vein occlusion and diabetic macular edema. These are two eye conditions that can cause profound vision loss. Adding Anti-VEGF eye injection to the vitreo-retina doctor’s arsenal is a big advancement in the retina eye care field.

Diabetic macular edema is one of the leading causes of vision loss in the world. It is caused by weakened and leaky capillaries in the retinal vascular system, due to diabetes.

Retinal vein occlusion can also cause macular edema. This condition, also known as cystoid macular edema, as responded well to Anti-VEGF eye injection. Anti-VEGF are now a mainstream treatment for these two eye conditions.

Eye injection fo macular degeneration treatment

Eye injection treatment for macular degeneration and other eye diseases




Avastin treatment for macular degeneration

Eye injection side effects and complications

Anti-VEGFs are drugs that treat eye conditions like macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema and retinal vein occlusion. Some of these drugs were first FDA approved for cancerous tumor treatment but ophthalmologists quickly discovered their promise for the treatment of leaking blood vessels caused by many common eye diseases. Eye doctors are using some of these drugs “off-label” ever since. Since some are not FDA approved for use in the eye, their intraocular use is considered off-label. However, they are now a mainstream treatment for wet macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema.

Many “mainstream” treatments are done off-label – some examples are Aspirin, Botox and many of the common depression treatments.



Eye injection side effects

Although quite rare, some complications and side effects of eye injections are being reported. Virtually every single intraocular medication has a risk of side effects. We will attempt to cover complications in this eye injections side-effects article.

Let’s look at those initial eye injection side effects:

Eye injection side effects and risks

Since the beginning of mainstream injections into the eye, the occurrence of side effects and complications from them are low.

In most cases, a patient who receives anti-VEGFs for an eye disease is in overall better health than a cancer patient – this would presumably reduce the risk of side effects, just on the basis of whole body health.

The head-to-head data comparing similar IV medications with intraocular medication side effects show the anti-VEGF given into the eye has none of the side effects of the IV treatments.

Most common eye injection side effects

After more than 17 years of using intraocular anti-VEGFs, ophthalmologists see a very small amount of side effects. However, these are the most common eye injection complications seen:

  • Red, irritated eye
  • Bloodshot eye
  • Small specks or bubble shapes in vision
  • Elevation in eye pressure
  • Tearing

Here are some very uncommon eye injection complications:

  • Inflammation inside the eye
  • Cataract
  • Retina or vitreous bleeding
  • Retinal detachment
  • A decrease in eye pressure
  • Cornea problems
  • Intraocular infection (endophthalmitis)

Allergic reaction to eye injections

Any medication has the potential to cause allergic reactions in a small number of people. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include a rash, hives, itching, shortness of breath, and rarely, death (extremely rare). If you have allergies to other medicines, foods, or other things in the environment, or if you have asthma, you should let your ophthalmologist or his staff know. Being prone to allergies could be a red flag for your doctor to choose a different mode of treatment.

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2635984/

Please understand that this page is NOT to be taken as medical advice. You should speak to your medical doctor and/or ophthalmologist about any concerns or possible side effects or complications from anti-VEGFs or any other eye medication. JirehDesign.com assumes no responsibility in terms of the accuracy of this content. All information on this website is certainly not intended to replace or even augment the relationship between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. JirehDesign makes no claims to medical/surgical/anatomical accuracy of the images on this website. The images are not to be used for medical advice.