Bright Sight

Oliver Backhouse, Consultant Eye Surgeon

Inravitreal Steroid Injection

In order to control inflammation inside the eye it may be necessary to have anti-inflammation medication (steroids) put directly into the eye where it has been shown to have some remarkable results. In the setting of uveitis this form of management is given when other forms of trying to control the inflammation has had little success. It is most often used in the Uveitis Clinic for treatment resistant Cystoid Macular Oedema (waterlogging of the macula the part of the retina that sees fine detail).

The small amount of steroid is injected into the eye in a sterile operating theatre environment. It is a quick day case procedure which takes place under a local anaesthesia.

What are the Side-effects?

Unfortunately approximately 80% of eyes will go onto develop a cataract over a 2 year period. Thankfully cataract surgery has a very high success rate in skilled hands and can be therefore managed at a later date if it occurs. This is rather a catch 22 situation as delay in treating the macular oedema can mean that the chance of visual recovery is reduced as the light sensitive cells of the retina can be permanently damaged by prolonged oedema.

In addition around 40% of eye will develop high pressure inside the eye. This is well controlled with anti-pressure eye drops and tablets (Diamox) but in 1% of eyes an operation may be needed to control the pressure which. If not controlled, can damage the Optic Nerve (the cable that takes the message from the eye to the brain).

Other risks are that of any procedure that goes inside the eye such as bleeding, infection and detached retina. The chance of these latter 3 occurring are under 1% approximately.

After the Injection:

You can go home. You will notice some increased floaters initially and blurred vision but this should clear with time. This is due to the medication inside the eye. You will be reviewed 1 week later in the clinic. If you have any concerns please contact the Eye department sooner.