Retinal Vein Occlusion
The retinal veins may become blocked by the formation of a blood clot or by constriction from an adjacent vessel leading to bleeding within the retina. In some cases, the capillaries within the retina remain perfused with relatively little loss of vision. In more severe cases, blockage of the capillaries can lead to significant vision loss.
Loss of vision may also occur from fluid collecting within the macula, a problem called macular edema. Laser treatment or injections of medication may be used to treat macular edema or to control the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the eye.
Treatment can include laser and intraocular injections of a medication. The three most frequently used medication are: Avastin (not FDA approved), Lucentis (FDA approved) and Eylea (FDA approved). All three medications work by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factors. Your Physician may start with one medication and then recommend another based on your response to treatment.
What to expect
Laser procedures are performed in the office with either topical anesthetic or a behind the eye injection of lidocaine (retrobulbar block) to keep the eye comfortable during treatment. With Injection therapy, the medication is delivered into the eye with a very fine 30-31 gauge needle. We attempt to make the treatment as comfortable as possible. You will be given a series of topical numbing agents ranging from drops to gels based on your degree of discomfort during the treatment.
It is imperative to create a safe sterile injection site on your eye to minimize the risk of infection (endophthalmitis risk 1 in 10,000). Your Physician will place a small eyelid holder (speculum) in our eye to hold your eyelids open and off the surface of your eye. We ask no one to talk during the treatment so as to minimize any possible aerosol contaminant in the air. Several drops of a sterilizing agent (betadine) will be placed on your eye. This drop can sometimes burn but only for 10-20 seconds. The technician assisting will sometimes stabilize your head as you receive the injection so as to minimize the chance of head motion during the treatment.
After the injection your eye will be rinsed with sterile saline and more topical numbing drops to remove any residual betadine. Preservative free lubricating tear drops are recommended frequently immediately following your treatment. We ask you to call the office if you are experiencing any symptoms of pain, vision loss, extra redness, or light sensitivity.