New treatments for macular oedema have transformed the outlook for patients with retinal vein occlusion. These involve the injection of a highly specialised and targeted medicine into the gel-like fluid of the eye (the vitreous). The medicine works by blocking the protein responsible for the leakage of retinal blood vessels. This protein is called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and the medicines used are called anti-VEGF agents.
Different types of anti-VEGF agents are available, and Mr Patel can discuss the best treatment for you during the consultation. Studies have shown that repeated and regular anti-VEGF injections are effective in preventing blindness and can stabilise vision in patients with retinal vein occlusion. Injection treatments don’t work if you are unable to have regular injections or if you are unable to attend for regular follow-up consultations. The interval between anti-VEGF injections and the length of time you will need treatment for will depend on the severity of the condition and how you respond to the treatment.
Currently, there are three different types of anti-VEGF medicines which are commonly used to treat wet AMD. These are Eylea, Lucentis or Avastin. Mr Patel will discuss which of these treatments is most appropriate for you after a detailed consultation and with appropriate retinal imaging tests.
Other treatments such as steroid injections into the eye (Ozurdex injections) may be indicated in some cases. However, Mr Patel can discuss the most appropriate treatment with you and personalise the choice of treatment based on your needs and the severity of your condition.