About Retinal Injections
At Koch Eye Associates, we are proud to provide Avastin, Eylea, and Lucentis injections for certain retinal diseases, including macular degeneration and edema, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vein occlusion. These retinal injections are all part of the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) family of medications and can temporarily delay or stop the advancement of these diseases. Depending on the type and stage of their retinal disease, some patients may even see an improvement in their overall vision. It is important to note that patients do need continuing injections since the effects are temporary. If you are interested in learning more about retinal injections, schedule a consultation at one of our convenient facilities in Wakefield, Woonsocket, North Kingstown, Warwick, Providence, and Johnston, RI.
about anti-vegf medications
Certain retinal diseases, like wet macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, are related to the growth of abnormal blood vessels beneath the retina. Anti-VEGF medications treat these diseases by temporarily stopping the growth of these blood vessels. VEGF is a protein within the body that promotes the growth of blood vessels, contributing to necessary functions, like wound healing. However, sometimes VEGF promotes the growth of unwanted blood vessels, such as in these retinal diseases and in tumors. Lucentis, Eylea, and Avastin are all anti-VEGF medications that work in very similar ways to remove or deactivate VEGF in the eye. The effects can be very quick with the abnormal blood vessels gone and at least some vision restored within days. Without the anti-VEGF injections, the abnormal blood vessels continue to proliferate and can begin to leak, leading to significant vision loss or blindness.
Most ophthalmologists consider the differences in these three medications to be insignificant. One difference is that Eylea can also remove a different but related growth catalyst, meaning patients can sometimes go longer between injections. Another is that Avastin was initially used to treat cancer but is now used by ophthalmologists to treat retinal disease. The anti-VEGF injection you and your ophthalmologist choose for your treatment will be based on the type and severity of your retinal disease.
"I first went to Koch Eye many years ago after being referred there for a follow up appointment after being treated at the emergency room for an eye injury, That was the only time I actually saw Dr. Koch himself (who was very nice by the way) It is only in the last few years (since my old lady eyes have begun to need reading glasses) that I have come in regularly for my eye exam and glasses prescription. I never have any problem with wait time because there are several optometrists. Really the only thing I am not crazy about is their hours. I wish it was possible to get an evening appointment or that there was an occasional Saturday. The office staff is pleasant and courteous"- I.C. / Yelp / May 09, 2019
"I have been going to Koch Eye for years. The girls at the front desk are always nice and knowledgeable. I had a new doctor that I haven’t had in past appointments Dr. Vania Bea. From the time she walked in the room she completely put me at easeShe listened to my concerns and i felt confident in her answers. Everyone at Koch in Johnston are great."- M.J. / Google / Feb 10, 2020
"I dont hand out 5 stars all to often, but koch earn it, from the moment you call them you know your dealing with a professional outfit. Your eye sight is very important, and as far as I can see, Koch is top knotch."- C.T. / Google / Feb 10, 2020
"The staff was great good exam. They took the time to explain what and why the we’re doing"- A.R. / Facebook / Jan 30, 2020
"I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone there from the receptionists to the nurses and doctors went above and beyond. I was extremely nervous and everyone went out of their way to make me feel relaxed. Surgery was a success, back in a week for my second eye."- C.B. / Google / Dec 31, 2019
If you have been diagnosed with a blood vessel-related retinal condition, you could be a candidate for anti-VEGF retinal injections. These conditions include but may not be limited to wet macular degeneration, macular edema, and diabetic retinopathy. Due to the effectiveness of these medications, they are generally ophthalmologists' first choice in treating retinal conditions. However, some patients' conditions may require treatment with laser surgery. Your ophthalmologist at Koch Eye Associates will perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether you could benefit from anti-VEGF injections.
Retinal injections are performed as outpatient treatments at the Koch Eye Associates facility in Warwick, RI and at our LASIK and Aesthetics Center in Cranston, RI. An experienced member of our ophthalmology team will numb your eye with anesthetic eye drops prior to your treatment. When the numbing drops have taken effect, your eye will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution. You will then be asked to look to the side, and the injection will be administered to the far side of your eye where you will not be able to see it. The effects of the injections are not permanent so you will need continuing treatments. The frequency of your injections will depend on your condition and the type of medication chosen by your ophthalmologist.
There are some mild to moderate side effects associated with the injections, but they usually can be treated with eye drops or will go away on their own. These side effects include discomfort from “scratchiness” or “grittiness,” surface bleeding, inflammation, an increased sense of pressure, and floaters. It is very important to follow any and all aftercare instructions your ophthalmologist gives you to ensure proper healing. We typically require a follow-up visit 48 hours after your injection to monitor the progress of the medication and check your eye health.
Koch Eye Associates is proud to provide these innovative, FDA-approved injection treatments. If you have been diagnosed with a retinal condition but are unsatisfied with your treatment plan, contact one of our convenient Rhode Island facilities for a consultation. You will be able to discuss all the injections we provide, as well as their uses and benefits, with one of the experts on our team.