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Injection Day: Izervay Treatment for Geographic Atrophy

After a decade with dry macular degeneration, I was diagnosed with geographic atrophy (GA) in July of 2023. My vision had steadily declined in the previous 3 years, but it was still a shock. 

The only silver lining was the new treatment options for this advanced stage of dry macular degeneration.

I felt both exhilarated and anxious about the new treatments

At the time of diagnosis, my doctor recommended I wait a few months to begin treatment, since these new injections can have the potential for serious side effects.

At my appointment in December, my doctor was more comfortable with the new treatments. He had encountered no side effects after hundreds of injections among his patients. I felt both exhilarated and anxious about starting treatment. 

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After a discussion about each medication, I chose Izervay because he said there was less pain with the injection.

Preparing for my new injection treatment

After the decision was made to start treatment, the staff began prepping me for injection. I was given numbing drops. The tech chatted with me for a few moments and then gave me a second round of numbing drops. A few minutes passed, and my doctor came in and gave me a numbing injection.

I was nervous about holding my eye steady. My doctor reassured me by saying, "I’ve got you."  He asked me to look down and to the left. Doing so, I did not see the needle.

The numbing injection was painless. Then it was time for the last application of numbing drops. After a brief wait, the tech put in Betadine drops to clean my lashes and prep my eye for injection.

Receiving the eye injection

Shortly after that, my doctor came in with the medication injection. He repeated the instructions to look down and to my left. Many report feeling pressure, but I felt nothing at all.

The tech began rinsing the Betadine from my eye. She rinsed my eye thoroughly 3 times, wiping the lashes until there was no sign of Betadine left.

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Advice for what to expect following my injection

The tech gave me an instruction sheet. She spent several minutes telling me what to expect. I was told to expect eye irritation for 1-2 days after injection. She explained the irritation was caused by the cleansing agent, and that I might experience a drop of blood at the injection site that would clear up in a few days. 

Floaters were also a possibility, which can be caused by bubbles of air. I was told not to get water in my eyes for a couple of days. My instructions included the phone numbers to call 24/7 if I experienced pain or a dark curtain over my vision. Infection or retinal detachment rarely happen, but I was to call with any symptoms.

The final detail was my choice. The tech would either use eye drops or apply an antibiotic ointment along with patching the eye. I liked the idea of antibiotic ointment to prevent infection, and I left with my eye patched. I was given single-use drops to use as needed at home.

An eye gel helped with residual pain

I have a 2-hour trip home. After 30 minutes, the numbing drops wore off. I had profuse tearing and a burning, gritty sensation in my eye. 

The burning continued until I got home. I removed the patch and put my nighttime eye gel in my eye. All irritation stopped immediately and did not return. I experienced no aftereffects at all.

Another injection scheduled

Everyone’s experience is different, but overall, I was relieved how easy the whole process was. I will return in 2 months for my next injection. 

I hope my account is helpful to those anticipating treatment with injections.

Treatment results and side effects can vary from person to person. This treatment information is not meant to replace professional medical advice. Talk to your doctor about what to expect before starting and while taking any treatment.
This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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