Did I Improve My Diabetic Vision Loss with Eylea?-Do(& n’ts)

EYLEA (EYLEA® (aflibercept) ) is an FDA-approved, anti-VEGF, administered an intravitreal injection to treat several retinal diseases like WET AMD, DME, MefRVO, and Diabetes Retinopathy(DR).

What are the restrictions after Elyea injection?

Do not rub your injected eye(s). Avoid splashing water into your eye(s) for 72 hours. Refrain your eye from exposure to direct sunlight. Use sunglasses outside. After your injection, don’t wear make-up for 24 h.

You may experience blurred vision because of the related dilation and medicines used for related eye examinations before injection. You may not be able to drive right after the injection. Give yourself time for your vision to clear up, or have someone get you back home.

*Please do not wear any contact lenses for 2 days after your injection. *Please continue taking any existing eye drops/medication prescribed.

There is no restriction on watching TV and using the computer to read and write after the injection.

You will be given a follow-up appointment for your next injection after 4 to 6 weeks.

How long does it take for the eye to heal after an injection?

Injections wait to change your vision. Most people can go back to their normal activities right after the treatment. You may have short-term side effects, but they should clear up in a day or 2.

My Personal Experience with Eylea

I had possibly developed cataracts speedily over the years suffering from type 2 diabetes. During my diabetes eye checkup, both eyes were suffering from cataracts. I decided to go with my left eye surgery (I am cock eyed, and my left eye is weak). If I saw a cure for the left eye, I would go forward with the right eye. My eye doctor (Dr. Franck Chin) agreed.

After my cataract surgery, the eye examination detected bleeding. The doctor was unsure then if it was due to surgery or due to diabetes, edema, or both. 

Note: My diabetes was well under control, and my prescription medication, metformin, was supposed to be reduced from twice to once daily as per the recommendation of my PCP.

Dr. Chin gave two prescription medicines to see if they could cure the bleeding and were used tampering. They were Prednisolone Acetate Suspension 1%OP  and KetorolacTromethamine ophthalmic solution 0.5%. The drops started with 4 times/ per day for the 1st week, 3 times in the 2nd week, 2 times in the 3rd week, and once in the 4th week.

After using these medications, the examination reveals no improvement in the diabetes edema.

Dr chin wanted a detailed retina examination to ascertain the surgical eye condition. He recommended me to WillsEye Physicians, where retina eye surgeon Dr. Richard Kaiser took over the exam. The metformin amount was not changed because he did not want too many variables to change at the time.

 Is it due to a mistake in cataract surgery or due to diabetes? In this process, the metformin dose twice a day remains unchanged.

After 4 Elea injections, my vision has substantially improved, now hovering over 20/25 (vs. 20/20). The prescription drugs are once daily.

During my last injection, my fasting blood sugar was 84 (changed from 95), and my HbA1c was 6.1 (revised from 6.2).  My diet and lifestyle, and medication for diabetes have not changed.

I have an appointment for the next injection and a check-up with Dr. Chin. I am ready for the right eye cataract surgery.

All this means is Eylea injection is working to restore vision treating type 2 diabetes edema in my case. Moreover, it is fortunate that Medicare fully covers injections and cataract surgery.

Note# Click on the link below for important safety information on Eylea. 

If you read this page, the copy is also posted for you.

Important Safety Information

EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection is a prescription medicine administered by injection into the eye. You should not use EYLEA if you have an infection in or around the eye, eye pain or redness, or known allergies to any of the ingredients in EYLEA, including aflibercept.

Injections into the eye with EYLEA can result in an infection in the eye, and retinal detachment (separation of the retina from the back of the eye) can occur. Inflammation in the eye has been reported with the use of EYLEA.

In some patients, injections with EYLEA may cause a temporary increase in eye pressure within 1 hour of the injection. Sustained increases in eye pressure have been reported with repeated injections, and your doctor may monitor this after each injection.

There is a potential but rare risk of severe and sometimes fatal side effects related to blood clots, leading to a heart attack Or stroke in patients receiving EYLEA.

The most common side effects reported in patients receiving EYLEA were increased redness in the eye, eye pain, cataract, vitreous (gel-like substance) detachment, vitreous floaters, moving spots in the field of vision, and increased pressure in the eye.

You may experience temporary visual changes after an EYLEA injection and associated eye exams; do not drive or use machinery until your vision recovers sufficiently.

After an injection, Contact your doctor immediately if you think you might be experiencing any side effects, including eye pain or redness, light sensitivity, or blurring of vision.

For additional safety information, please talk to your doctor and see the complete Prescribing Information for EYLEA.

Disclaimer: Always consult your diabetes expert team for any happenings you experience with Eylea for advice.

Anusuya Choudhury

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