Treatment for “wet” or exudative macular degeneration often includes eye injections. Despite what you might think, however, these injections aren’t usually painful and may help preserve your vision. David Lazar, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist and vitreoretinal specialist who practices at Lazar Retina, in West Los Angeles. He specializes in treating conditions common to the structures at the back of the eye, such as macular degeneration.
Most commonly known as “wet” macular degeneration, exudative macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina at the back of your eye. These abnormal vessels are commonly fragile and leak fluid and blood under the retina and macula.
The macula is a layer of tissue that’s located at the center of your retina and is responsible for your central vision. The fluid buildup caused by these abnormal blood vessels can cause the macula to bulge and lift from its normal flat position. Left untreated, this results in severe distortion or permanent destruction of your central vision.
The medication delivered via injection for wet macular degeneration inhibits the growth of new abnormal blood vessels under the retina. Also known as anti-VEGF therapy, these drugs block a naturally occurring substance (vascular endothelial growth factor or VEGF) from developing the blood vessels responsible for wet macular degeneration. This therapy often slows the progression of the condition and helps preserve central vision.
Dr. Lazar also provides injections for various retinal and macular abnormalities associated with retinal swelling including macular degeneration, diabetic edema, and retinal vein occlusions.
It can be disconcerting to receive an injection into your eye, but Dr. Lazar takes great care to numb the eye and prevent discomfort before administering the injection. The injection is delivered through the sclera (white portion of your eye) with a very small needle. Dr. Lazar’s skill as a surgeon helps make it a quick and painless experience that takes only seconds. Your eyes may feel slightly dry and irritated afterward, but that resolves quickly and can be soothed with artificial tears.
Depending on the results and the condition being treated, Dr. Lazar typically recommends a series of injections spaced several weeks apart. Before scheduling the procedure, Dr. Lazar takes time to discuss the treatment, his expectations for how many injections you might need, and what you can expect from the therapy.
For further details about eye injections or a second opinion regarding treatment options for your retinal condition, schedule a visit with Dr. Lazar today. Call the office or book your appointment online.