Because of effective new medications, we have major advances in the treatment of previously blinding retinal diseases.
Before these medicines were available, almost all patients with wet age-related macular degeneration would lose their central vision permanently.
Many patients with wet AMD can now retain useful reading and driving vision for many year with treatment.
Patients who have severe diabetic eye disease and retinal vein occlusions can sometimes develop swelling of the centre of the retina ( the macula ) which can now be controlled with eye injections.
In Australia, we use three intraocular medications : Eylea, Lucentis and Avastin. All three drugs are used in the three most common retinal diseases (AMD, Diabetic maculopathy, CMO from Vein Occlusion). The cost of these drugs are mostly covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in the vast majority of patients.
No. With local anaesthetic only, eye-injections can be given painlessly.
CRVO is a highly variable disease. It is difficult to predict the final outcome of an eye with CRVO.
Most patients require treatment for at least 6 months. The injections are given every 4weeks. I monitor your progress by checking vision, examining your eyes and analysing your OCT images.
If you have a very good response to treatment, I will stop the injections and monitor you for a relapse. It is common to see relapses, which are then retreated with Avastin injections.
The cost of Avastin is $35. Eylea and Lucentis are covered by Medicare. My professional fees for performing an injection will cost you $100 out of pocket. This covers the consultation and any additional tests such as OCT imaging.
Medicare provides an additional safety-net for patients with high-out-of pocket costs.
This information sheet is an attempt to summarize a complex and evolving management of highly variable conditions. It is not an exhaustive document and it is normal for you to have questions. I encourage you to ask questions at each of your appointments.