Lek. Anna Popik-Szybist
Intravitreal injections have been used for several years in treatment of retinal diseases, mainly of macula. In Professor Zagórski Eye Surgery Centers all types of injections are available, and the most commonly used are those of Avastin and Eylea. The procedure of medication injection in itself is short, painless and performed in ambulatory. Prior to the treatment a patient has to be qualified for it on the basis of a complete set of diagnostic tests.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common reasons for loss of vision among people who are over 50 years old. The development of this disease is influenced by: genetic factors, general diseases (hypertension, diabetes), stress, poor eating habits and smoking. Characteristic symptoms are: loss of vision with disorders such as dark spots in central vision (central blind spots) and/or distortion of the vision.
There are two basic forms of AMD:
- dry (nearly 90% of the cases) which progresses slowly and usually less impairs the vision. Until now, there is no effective treatment and the counter-measure is limited to the use of food supplements containing lutein, zeaxanthin, antioxidants, certain vitamins and trace elements, mainly zinc and selenium. In case of some of the patients it might develop into an exudative macular degeneration, and that is why monitoring changes by the patients (test Amslera) as well as regular periodic examinations are so important in order to start treatment as soon as possible. As part of the diagnostic tests examination of eye fundus, OCT as well as fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography are carried out;
- wet (exudative) which can lead to rapid and substantial loss of vision, sometimes to almost complete blindness. In the exudative form, particularly in the early stages, anti-VEGF drugs are applied. Additionally, sometimes there are recommendations for the implementation of laser procedures. The results of the treatment of the exudative form are difficult to predict, as it is a symptomatic treatment and injections need to be repeated multiple times, sometimes a dozen or more. Change of the lifestyles and diet, and in the case of smokers complete quitting smoking is recommended.
In Professor Zagórski Eye Surgery Centers full diagnostics are carried out hence ensuring selection of optimal treatment.
Macular edema is the most common in diabetes and retinal venous thrombosis. Implementation of injections of anti-VEGF and/or steroids is possible, though in the case of most of these patients we recommend surgery and/or laser treatment, which may replace or, at least, reduce the number of injections, and additionally also has beneficial impact on the further course of retinopathy.
Doctors working in Professor Zagórski Eye Surgery Centers have substantial experience in the treatment of the aforementioned diseases, both when it comes to the diagnostics, as well as attending patients affected by the above described diseases, as well as in intravitreal injections, or laser and surgical treatments.