The Role of Eye Injections in treating Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss among older adults, affecting millions of people worldwide. As a progressive disease, AMD gradually damages the macula, the small central portion of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. While there are different types of AMD, including dry and wet forms, it’s the wet AMD that often requires immediate attention due to its rapid progression and potential for severe vision loss.

Fortunately, advancements in medical technology have led to the development of effective treatment options for wet AMD, one of which includes eye (intravitreal) injections. In this blog post, we will delve into the significance of eye injections in the management of AMD, understanding how they work, their efficacy, safety, and what patients can expect during the treatment process.

Understanding Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is a complex eye condition characterised by the deterioration of the macula, resulting in blurred or distorted central vision. Dry AMD, the more common form, involves the gradual buildup of yellow deposits beneath the retina, or drusen, leading to cell damage over time. Wet AMD, although less prevalent, poses a higher risk of severe and sudden vision loss due to abnormal blood vessel growth beneath the retina, causing fluid leakage and eventual scarring.

Treatment options for AMD

While treatment options for dry AMD primarily focus on managing symptoms and slowing disease progression through nutritional supplements and lifestyle modifications, wet AMD necessitates more aggressive intervention to prevent irreversible vision loss. Among the various treatment modalities available for wet AMD, including laser therapy and photodynamic therapy, intravitreal eye injections have emerged as a cornerstone of modern wet AMD management.

What Are Eye injections for AMD?

Eye injections, specifically anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) injections, have revolutionised the treatment landscape for wet AMD. VEGF is a protein that promotes the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina, contributing to the progression of AMD. Anti-VEGF injections work by blocking the activity of VEGF, thereby inhibiting the growth of these abnormal vessels and reducing fluid leakage, ultimately helping to preserve vision.

The Role of Eye Injections in treating Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Efficacy and safety of Eye injections for AMD

Clinical studies have demonstrated the remarkable efficacy of anti-VEGF injections in improving visual acuity and stabilising or even reversing vision loss in many patients with wet AMD. However, like any medical intervention, eye injections carry potential risks and side effects, including temporary discomfort, inflammation, and the rare possibility of retinal detachment or infection. It is essential for patients to discuss these risks with their ophthalmologist and undergo regular monitoring to ensure optimal outcomes.

How is the medication injected into the eye?

The administration of eye injections typically involves a series of steps conducted in a clinical setting. After administering local anesthesia to numb the eye, the ophthalmologist carefully injects the anti-VEGF medication into the vitreous cavity, the gel-like substance that fills the back part of the eye. The entire procedure is relatively quick and usually well-tolerated by patients, with minimal discomfort experienced during and after the injection.

Future directions and innovations in AMD Treatment

Looking ahead, ongoing research and development in the field of AMD treatment continue to pave the way for innovative therapies and improved patient outcomes. From novel drug delivery techniques to emerging pharmacological agents, the future holds promise for more personalised and effective treatments for AMD. By staying informed and actively participating in clinical trials, patients can contribute to the advancement of AMD research and potentially access cutting-edge therapies.


In conclusion, eye injections play a pivotal role in the management of wet AMD, offering hope and vision preservation for countless individuals affected by this sight-threatening condition. Through the targeted inhibition of VEGF activity, anti-VEGF injections have demonstrated remarkable efficacy in stabilising and even improving vision in many patients. 

By understanding the importance of early detection, timely intervention, and ongoing monitoring, individuals living with AMD can proactively manage their condition and hopefully safeguard their precious eyesight for years to come.

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of AMD, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from a qualified ophthalmologist who can provide personalised care and treatment recommendations tailored to your unique needs.

Author Bio

Dr Parth Shah is a director and principal ophthalmologist at Clarity Eye Surgeons in Canberra, specialising in eye injections for retinal disease, cataract surgery & strabismus (eye muscle) surgery. With extensive training and experience, he is renowned for his expertise in the field. Dr Shah is dedicated not only to performing successful surgeries but also to patient education. His compassionate approach, combined with technical proficiency, has earned him the trust and gratitude of countless patients. He is a true advocate for eye health and a trusted name in the Canberra ophthalmology community.


The frequency of eye intravitreal injections for wet AMD varies depending on individual factors such as the severity of the condition, and the response to treatment. In most cases, patients initially receive a series of injections every 4 weeks over several months to achieve optimal results. After this initial loading phase, injections may be administered less frequently as part of a maintenance regimen.

Your ophthalmologist will determine the most appropriate treatment for your AMD based on the type (dry or wet), severity, and progression of the disease. If you have wet AMD, characterised by the presence of abnormal blood vessel growth beneath the retina (diagnosed through careful clinical examination and specialised retinal imaging), your ophthalmologist may recommend eye injections to help stabilise or improve your vision.

The duration of the effects of eye injections for AMD can vary from patient to patient. Some individuals may experience prolonged improvement in vision with fewer injections, while others may require more frequent injections to maintain stable vision. Your ophthalmologist will monitor your progress and adjust your treatment regimen as needed to ensure optimal outcomes.

While eye injections are generally safe and well-tolerated, some patients may experience temporary blurriness or sensitivity to light after the procedure. It is advisable to arrange for transportation home from your appointment, especially if you have concerns about your vision or if you have received additional medication to dilate your pupils during the procedure.

Your ophthalmologist will evaluate your overall eye health and any coexisting eye conditions before recommending eye injections for AMD. In some cases, certain eye conditions may affect the suitability or safety of receiving eye injections. It is essential to discuss any concerns or additional eye conditions with your ophthalmologist to ensure the most appropriate treatment approach for your individual needs.

Most patients experience minimal discomfort during eye injections thanks to the use of local anesthesia. You may feel a slight pressure or warmth during the injection, but any discomfort is usually brief and well-tolerated. Afterward, you may have some mild soreness or irritation around the injection site, but it usually resolves quickly. Overall, while the idea may seem daunting, the procedure is generally safe and relatively painless with proper anesthesia.

The cost for eye injections depends on several factors, and there is a Medicare rebate available for part of the cost. The cost of the medication for wet AMD is usually covered under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Ceasing eye injections for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), particularly the wet form, can lead to unchecked growth of abnormal blood vessels, increased fluid leakage, and vision deterioration. Without ongoing treatment, vision loss may become irreversible. It is recommended to follow your ophthalmologist’s recommendation about the need for and frequency of injections to maintain vision stability and prevent further damage. If concerns arise, discuss them with your ophthalmologist to explore alternative options.