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Injections an alternative to laser surgery with some eye conditions

By Kelly Federico – Contributing Writer

We’ve all heard the saying, “cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye,” but the actual idea of sticking a needle in your eye probably doesn’t sound all that appealing.  The truth is, however, it really isn’t as scary or painful as it sounds.

Eye injections are a method of treatment that has become popular over the last several years and they are used to treat a variety of conditions.  Medicine is delivered directly to the area of the eye – typically the retina – that is abnormal.

The process takes a couple of minutes.  Before the injection, patients are administered an anesthetic and an antiseptic.  Due to the anesthetic, the injection itself is virtually painless.  Patients may report some irritation due to the sterilization, but this is a brief feeling that quickly fades.

Injections are an alternative to laser treatment, which can leave scars on the eye.  Injections are scar-free and just as, if not, more effective.

The diseases and conditions that are treated with injections, such as diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration, tend to be chronic – meaning patients will receive a series of injections to treat their condition.

Injections are also used to treat other conditions, such as swelling and inflammation or retinal vein occlusion, which occurs when there is blockage of the veins that carry blood away from the retina and out of the eye.

It is important to remember that these injections are nearly pain-free, side effects are very rare and they will help protect your vision.

If you'd like to know more about how injections may help ease an eye condition, talk to your eye doctor.

Kelly Federico is practice liaison and outreach coordinator with Back of the Eye MD Retina Specialists in Amherst and North Tonawanda.

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