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An optometrist chair reclines looking outside of a window into outer space. Outside is a large rocket with a needlenose making it's way towards a planet that looks like an eyeball.

Come With Me for Your First Eye Injection

How did we get here? Ok, so by now we’ve seen our optometrist and he/she discovered some anomaly’s during the eye exam. The optometrist then referred us to an RS (retina specialist). The RS did an OCT scan (Optical Coherence Tomography) and possibly some other tests. The RS sadly informed us we have wet AMD and would need injections in our eye to hold our disease at bay! EGADS!!!

A virtual trip for your first eye injection

I’d like to take you for a virtual trip to an RS for your first injection for wet AMD.

I arrived at the RS for the very first injection! We are in the waiting room after having signed in at the reception desk. Let’s then take a seat and wait for our name to be called. Casually we look about the waiting room and say to ourselves, “What are all these old people doing here?” I'm 71 and have a built-in age defense system, I always define old as 10 years older than I am! It’s continually changing as I age. Enough levity!

Are we nervous about a needle in our eye?

Oh yes, we’re plenty nervous, who wouldn’t be? Now, what happens?

First things first: Prep work for the procedure

  • Our name is called by a smiling technician. (Gulp!) We are led to the OCT room for a scan of our eyes. (Hmm, that didn’t hurt a bit!) We are then directed back to the waiting room.
  • In a few more minutes our name is called again by another smiling technician. Things are about to get real y’all! They lead us back to an exam room and we are told to sit in a chair similar to a dentists chair.
  • Next the tech has us block one eye with a device and dims the lights and has us read an eye chart with our glasses still on. This is to establish what our baseline vision is for that day. Mine is usually 20/30 in my dry AMD eye and 20/30-40 in my wet AMD eye. My vision varies a little from day to day.

Numbing the eye

OK, now what?

  • After this the tech will administer numbing drops or gel. Then my eye pressure is checked in each eye. It’s a painless procedure.
  • At this point the tech may dilate my eyes (don’t you just hate this? I do.)
  • The tech will probably apply more numbing gel and then tell me the doctor will be in shortly and leave me alone in my space rocket chair to wait! The interminable wait for the doc!

Pro tip: The time between the above steps and when your eye doc arrives may be 10 minutes or longer. (Try keeping your eyes closed while you wait for the doctor, as the chemical numbs your eye so much you can forget to blink... it also has a drying effect on your eye.)

Betadine to prevent infection

The big kahuna knocks and enters! The smiling (is he smiling at me or with me?) doctor comes in and he adds to the chemical cocktail going on in your eye by applying Betadine before your injection to ward off any possibility of infection! Wow! That’s a lot of chemicals in a short time!

Administering the injection

  • The RS will review your OCT scans on a computer monitor and usually share what he sees with you.
  • The doc may apply more Betadine and then quickly give you the injection! It’s over before you know it! We just felt a little pressure, no pain! Yay!!! It’s over!

After the injection

The doctor or tech should flush your eyes after you get the shot. Also, you may want to buy yourself some OTC eye lubricant drops and put these drops in your eyes every 15 minutes or so for several hours. This way you can avoid the chemical burning that sometimes causes you pain and tearing. Hope this helps! It’s really not that bad and is a small price to pay to keep our disease at bay. I wish us well on our eye health journey!

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