IVOM therapy (intravitreal drug administration), "syringe treatment"

Within the framework of IVOM therapy, we can treat severe diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular edema (DME), macular edema after vascular occlusion (thrombosis) and macular diseases of other causes in a targeted manner. By direct injection of the medication into the vitreous (intravitreal injection), we achieve a precise and controlled effect with a low dosage of the active ingredients.

Today, intravitreal injection is one of the most important procedures for the treatment of various macular diseases. Usually, IVOM therapy is performed over a long period of time. With repeated injections, we can maintain visual acuity in many cases, and in some cases even improve it.

What is an intravitreal injection?

We refer to intravitreal injection, or IVOM therapy, as a procedure in which medication is administered directly into the vitreous humor of the eye. This procedure is painless thanks to local anesthesia. In this way, we can treat diseases of the retina and especially the macula in a targeted manner.

The abbreviation IVOM stands for "intravitreal surgical drug administration". A major advantage of this procedure is that the administered drugs enter the eye directly in the desired concentration. If the same active ingredients were administered in the form of tablets, for example, a much higher dosage would be required for a sufficient amount of active ingredient to reach the eye. This would result in significant side effects in the rest of the body. IVOM therapy therefore serves as a gentle and precise alternative with which we can also treat diseases for which there have been hardly any treatment options up to now.

When is IVOM treatment performed?

We use IVOM therapy for the treatment of various retinal diseases. The most important areas of application are wet macular degeneration and diabetic macular diseases. Other pathological changes of vitreous and retina can also be treated by intravitreal injection, for example vascular occlusions and inflammations inside the eye.

How does IVOM therapy work?

Nowadays, intravitreal injection is a standardized procedure that takes only a few minutes, but it must be prepared like surgery. Although you may be put off by the thought of an injection in your eye, you can rest easy. Your eyes will be locally anesthetized for the duration of the treatment, so the injections will not be painful for you. Afterwards, the surface of the eye and the skin of the eyelid are carefully disinfected and the rest of the face is covered with a cloth so that no germs can get into the eye. The doctor now inserts a so-called eyelid retractor to temporarily keep the eye open. He then administers the intended medication by intravitreal injection.

In a preliminary consultation, we will explain to you exactly how IVOM therapy works. The duration and intervals of treatment are determined individually depending on the particular disease. As a rule, there are several appointments per year. On the basis of regular progress controls, we check whether the desired effect has been achieved.

After treatment, the eye can be temporarily covered with a bandage. However, this is not absolutely necessary. You can go home directly, but initially you are not allowed to drive a car yourself, as your vision is still blurred.

Is the IVOM treatment painful?

We perform IVOM therapy under local anesthesia, so the treatment is not painful for you. No pain is expected after the treatment either. However, if you experience any unexpected discomfort or if your vision worsens, please contact your treating ophthalmologist immediately.

What do I have to keep in mind after IVOM therapy?

In the days following the injections, your attending ophthalmologist will perform a brief follow-up examination. You should keep your follow-up appointments conscientiously. To avoid contamination by germs, you should refrain from visiting saunas and swimming pools for a short time after the treatment. The eye should be protected from dirt and, if possible, not touched unnecessarily.
If unexpected complaints occur, such as "flying mosquitoes", shadow perception or sooty rain, please contact us or your ophthalmologist as soon as possible. 

Are there any risks associated with an intravitreal injection?

IVOM therapy is a very safe procedure in which complications rarely occur. Like all medications, the drugs administered can have side effects. However, a major advantage of this treatment method is that we can inject the drugs directly into the eye and thus administer low doses.

Occasionally, bleeding occurs at the injection site after the injections. These are harmless. In rare cases, the treatment can also cause severe side effects such as inflammation of the interior of the eye or retinal detachment.

Prompt follow-up visits are important after each injection to detect and treat possible complications early. If your vision suddenly worsens, you experience pain, or your eyes become red, you should contact your ophthalmologist immediately.