Getting Eye Injections During The Coronavirus Pandemic
Last updated: April 2020
Can I still get my eye injections for my wet AMD in the midst of this crazy pandemic? Initially, I was very concerned about how my RS (retina specialist) was going to handle this apparent dilemma. As it turns out, he and his staff were prepared and his patients continued to be treated. Whew! What a relief!
Have you had an eye injection since all this started with the pandemic? What was the experience like?
The importance of injections for wet AMD
Let me tell you a cautionary tale my retina specialist once told me about how vital continuing our injections is.
My RS related how a former patient, a big strong guy simply quit coming for his injections. He later told my doctor that he just hated them and was scared half to death every time he came in for a shot. This patient had the wet form of AMD and had ongoing leaks from the unwanted blood vessels his body was producing in his macula (the anti-VEGF injections ”chemically cauterize” these leaks to hold our disease at bay).
Not getting injections for wet AMD
The guy just skipped going to his RS for about 9 months until his vision deteriorated so badly that he decided to suck it up and go back for more injections. But, sadly he had waited too long! My retina specialist had to tell him that there was nothing further he could do for him. The man cried real tears and pleaded with my RS, to no avail. My RS felt terrible about it but there was no treatment he could give to restore this patient's vision. Well, that was all I had to hear! I became a believer and have never missed an appointment in the more than 8 years I've been battling AMD!
Getting eye injections during COVID-19
So, back to present pandemic times. Here's what happened when I went in for my shot:
- The receptionist called me a few days before my appointment with instructions.
- I was told to come in at a slightly different time from what had been scheduled. I was to call a number when I was in my car in the parking lot.
- When I called at the appointed time, I was told they would call me when they were ready for me to come in.
- They called, I went in and saw one receptionist. I did not have to sign in.
- I entered the waiting room and I was the only one in there! Usually, there are 20 to 30 patients reading magazines or staring into space.
- I was soon led by a tech to get an OCT scan. The few employees I saw were all wearing gowns, gloves and masks.
- I immediately was led to the exam room where the tech had me read the eye chart. They put in numbing drops and checked my eye pressure. No dilation today...yay!
- They didn't talk much and explained that was on purpose. Soon thereafter my doc came in and quickly gave me my injection.
The entire process from the time I parked my car to when I was driving home, took less than 30 minutes! Boy, was I relieved! I hope all of you have a similar experience and continue your treatments. Don't be like ”that guy”! I wish us all well during this crazy time. This too shall pass, better times are not too far off!
Do you find that fear interferes with your ability to regularly go to eye specialist appointments?