More Than 3 Years of Lucentis Injections
by Bill Roudebush
(The Villages, Florida)
Dry macular degeneration was detected in March 2007 in my right eye only. While the right eye was still dry, wet macular degeneration was detected in my left eye in February 2008.
My first Lucentis injection was in March 2008 for wet AMD in my left eye. Wet AMD was then detected in my right eye in July 2008. The vision in my left eye was 20/60 and my right eye was 20/200.
After a year or so of monthly injections we went to every other month and then every 3 months. The period before my last injection (both eyes) was 4 months.
As of October 2011 I have received 22 injections in my left eye and 15 in my right. The vision is stable at 20/80 in my left eye and 20/200 in my right eye. No further bleeding has occurred for more than a year.
My doctor suggests that I should decide whether to continue getting shots regularly, with their attendant risks, or wait and see what develops.
There is evidently insufficient data on patients taking Lucentis over this long a time period to allow him to recommend one option over the other. It is very difficult for me to make such an important decision based on nothing better than a coin flip.
My present level of vision is adequate, using visual aids for macular degeneration, for such activities as reading and computer work. I would hate to jeopardize it. There are risks both ways.
If any readers have experience with pausing Lucentis injections after a period of vision stability I would appreciate hearing from you.
A yogic "trick" that helps me during Eyelea injections.
by Mary F
(Near Palm Springs, CA)
Gyan Mudra Calming Hand Position
I spent my 69th birthday getting "poked in the eye with a sharp stick"...when I got my 1st injection (Avastin, then...now Eyelea).
Needless to say, I was in "sticker shock" on that 1st occasion...although the idea was scary, I was curious & thought I was fairly calm & accepting of the whole procedure, but my BP reading post-injection said otherwise!
I knew I needed to find a way to remain calm during subsequent trips to the retina specialist.
Although I do not practice meditation or yoga at this time (I have, in the past) I stumbled upon a technique that has helped me quite a bit. It is called a "mudra" or yogic hand/finger position, of which there are many.
The particular one that seems to help me is called "Gyan Mudra" & is described as "a tranquilizer to promote mental peace & dissipate tension." It is very simple to do & I hold both hands in this position during the time I am in the room, being prepped & receiving the (now, every 2 months with Eyelea) injection, approx. 20 minutes in all.
I touch my index finger to the fleshy pad of my thumb, holding lightly with no real pressure. My other fingers are semi-extended in a comfortable manner (see photo). Once the prep work is done, I close my eyes & wait for the doctor to come in & administer the medicine.
I am not fond of the speculum (what woman ever likes that sort of device!), but it is tolerable since it isn't in position for more than a minute or so. And I honestly think the "mudra" helps to keep me calm during the whole experience.
My BP is normal & I feel a sense of calmness in spite of what is going on during the injection & afterward.
Although the staff at my retina specialist's office do a thorough job of numbing & sterilizing my eye in preparation (yes, the betadine solution sure does sting), there is an almost immediate ache after the injection.
I choose to have my injections late in the afternoon or early evening so I can go home & go to bed, wearing the eye patch the doctor's office puts on after the injection. Usually, by the next morning, the aching is gone, thank goodness, & I can resume my normal activities.
I was diagnosed with dry AMD approx. 10 years ago, but did not fully grasp the seriousness of my situation. Due to a change in my medical insurance, I switched to a different doctor & he eventually did cataract surgery on both eyes.
He never mentioned AMD & I forgot that I even had it. Approximately 2 years after the cataract surgery, my right eye went "wet". My left eye is still stable & now I take ARED-type supplements (as well as many others recommended by my primary care doc) & have upgraded my diet to a much more supportive level, i.e. lots of greens, few carbs/sugar, etc. So far, my vision is 20/25 in my right eye (the one affected by wet AMD) & still 20/20 in my left eye.
Thank-you Mary for taking the time to share your relaxation technique with us - I hope it helps many others as they prepare for their regular eye injections.
Leslie Degner, RN, BSN
Avastin and Macular Degenertion - Third injection today
(Dry Prong, Louisiana)
This morning I had my 3rd injection in my left eye. I was dreading it because with the last 2 I had horrible pain in the afternoon and evening. Today he said there might be something on my cornea that is causing the pain.
So he put a contact lens in the left eye. I am still having some pain but no where near where it was after the last 2 shots. I have only had one in the right eye and no pain afterwards at all.
I go back Monday to have the contact taken out. I hope I don't do something in my sleep with the contact. I couldn't believe he told me to not take it out even for bed.
So I am only seeing with the right eye tonight. They did check my vision and both eyes have improved. I am so hoping that after this, I won't need any more Avastin injections.
I’m sorry to hear about the pain you are having after your eye injections. How did you last eye appointment go? Did you doctor recommend more injections or can you take a break?
Leslie Degner, RN, BSN
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