An intravitreal (pronounced in tra VIT re al) injection is a procedure to place a medication directly into the space in the back of the eye called the vitreous cavity, which is filled with a jelly-like fluid called the vitreous humor gel. The procedure is usually performed by a trained retina specialist in the office setting.
What are intravitreal injections used for?
Intravitreal injections are used to administer medications to treat a variety of retinal conditions. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion are the most common conditions treated with intravitreal anti-VEGF drugs. Intravitreal steroids are used in some eyes with diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion and uveitis. The anti-VEGF drugs and steroids help to reduce fluid leakage associated with these disorders. Antibiotic, anti fungal and antiviral drugs are also used to treat patients with infections in the eye such as endophthalmitis and retinitis. In some cases an injection is used to insert a small gas bubble to aid repair of a retinal detachment.