Pain after injection

I had my third injection yesterday and found it quite painful - I wondered at the time if the surgeon placed the needle correctly. It also hurt when he was placing the clamp to hold the eye open (he wasn't the surgeon I'd had previously). After I left the hospital the pain grew much worse and by the time I got home, I was glad to take a couple of paracetamol and crawl into bed. All this time I wasn't able to see as the eye just would not stay open and I had a pad of tissues clamped over it. I spent a rotten night and rang the hospital this morning and spoke to the nurse. She suggested it might be an abrasion on the cornea and to leave it for two days to see if it heals, then come in to see her (made an appointment). I shall do this, but meantime there is great discomfort in the eye, but even worse, I am now dreading the next injection: the first two were fine and I was sailing through. Has anyone else had an experience like this?

30 Replies

  • Hello maritravel,

    So sorry to learn about your pain after your last injection.

    I suspect that as the nurse says, you had a scratched cornea. This is something that sadly does sometimes happen.

    Please see our factsheet at the following link which gives the usual causes of post injection pain;

    Best wishes

    Macular Society

  • Hi maritravel

    I feel for you. In my case every injection I have had so far has been a different experience from ok to downright awful when every bone in my face became hot and excruciatingly painful. It very much depends on the injector and his/her procedures and skills, and having had a different injector on each occasion I still go to my appointments with apprehension, wondering what to expect. Still, without the injections I would probably have lost the sight in one eye by now, so i am grateful that treatment is available.

    Hope feel better now and all goes well for you next time.

  • Thank you for writing. Your reply doesn't exactly fill me with joy, but at least I am more prepared now and in an odd way it makes me feel better knowing that my experience is not unusual.

  • Sorry maritravel, I didn't mean to make you feel more uneasy. I suppose I am too much of a realist. I like to tell truth. It is what it is! But remember, the pain and discomforts we suffer only last a comparatively short time and if the injections do what they are supposed to do, then it is worth it. Enjoy your life between the dreaded jabs and don't waste your time worrying.

    All the best and a big hug. x

  • I'm looking on the very positive side as my greatest pleasure is reading and if I were not able to continue this then life would be a much bleaker place. However, with the possibility of the macular being repaired, I need not face this particular devil. After years of refusing to use a tablet for reading, I have now succumbed to one and am delighted as I can enlarge the words and make the page brighter. Why was I such an obstinate old woman for so many years?!

  • Hi there, I have had this on a couple of occasions but it is usually better the next day. I've had my eye scratched a few times; one even bled for six weeks but it didn't hurt. I understand you dreading the next injection. The best thing to do (When you go again), is tell them exactly what happened and how much it hurt and ask for the 'extra strong numbing drops. They are wonderful and you won't feel a thing. Good luck x

  • The bleeding sounds horrendous. I shall ask for those drops and see what happens.

  • Hi maritravel, yes, you're not alone in this. I take 2 paracetamol about an hour before procedure and find that helps with postoperative discomfort. It's all a bit of a lottery, injector, inj site, time it takes etc all have an impact. The best thing you can do is not worry about it. It is what it is and most will not hurt. But do tell them at next appt. Best wishes going forward x

  • Your idea of two paracetamol before the procedure seems a good one and I shall do this next time. Who knows, it may be plain sailing. At least I feel better knowing that it's nothing serious and others suffer too.

  • I always have the same consultant do the injections, 9 so far and some are pain free and some are painful. Sometime it hurts when clamping is done.

    A lot depends on the anesthetic I think, which doesn't always perform well.

    My clinic does not know anything about extra strong anesthetic drops.

    My eye is often sore for a couple of days but I don't have a lot of pain .

    You are very unlucky to have so much pain afterwards. Hopefully the next

    Injection will be pain free. I know these injections help save our sight but they are not always a very pleasent experience.

    Hope your eye is feeling better.

  • Thank you for being so positive. Fingers crossed.

  • As previously commented it does appear that you had a scratched cornea.

    I find the plastic clip to be the only part of the procedure I feel. I have often wondered why it does not have a soft face although I have never, so far at least, experienced problems as a result if its use.

    I have had over 70 injections given by, I would guess, seven or eight different practitioners all at the same clinic.

    Because I know them so well they tend to comment about their experiences. A nurse who can inject without my feeling it at all said that prior to her first injection she used to be quite scornful of pretty eminent doctors whose hand trembled as they were about to inject until, it came to her first 'live' one. She now has great empathy with them because it happened to her.

    The injection has to be made into the Pars Plana, a 4mm band around the lens and it is very exacting. It is just possible that the needle touched the surface of your eye before being placed correctly.

    Hopefully, it remains a one-off for you.

  • I spoke to someone last evening who has been having injections in both eyes for 5 years, and she always finds them painful. They don't want to do both eyes at the same time so she has to go every fortnight, a forty mile journey each way. I think I'm relatively lucky, mine is only a ten-mile journey although with two buses unless I ask a friend to drive. I am just realising how lucky I am.

  • maritravel have you considered using the app- uber? You add your credit card to the app as it explains after you have downloaded it.

    If you download the app onto a smart phone or tablet you can call an uber car. These can be found anywhere worldwide it seems. They are inexpensive - compared to a taxi ( usually half price of a taxi). They are what used to be called 'mini cabs' and are insured for passenger transportation. There isn't any cash involved as the bill goes automatically to your credit card. Now I know if you haven't used this service before you will be wary. But it's a very safe App that's used world wide for many many years. It will get you to and from your appointments easily and safely. trying to be helpful .

  • I appreciate you trying to help me, really I do, but I have a resistance to Uber, having read too many stories about the company's bad behaviour towards their cabbies. I don't take cabs very often and when I do, I like to support my locals. I feel the same way about Amazon, I try not to use it, I need to keep my bookshop going - it keeps me sane! Thank you anyway, for suggesting this, I'm sure others will read your post and make use of the info.

  • Sadly, some do have pain no matter what but, you coukd ask if a different anaesthetic could be used, most clinics have at least two available. Also, you could ask if they will inject in a different quuadrant of the eye.

  • Thank you. I shall c certainly ask as you've suggested. I do wish the consultants had told me of the possible drawbacks when I started on this. I panicked when I had the pain as I had no idea this would happen - a word to me would have made a big difference.

  • The clinic which treats me, St Paul's Liverpool, are fabulous but even they don't seem to appreciate the sheer horror the first time someone is told that they will have an injection in their eye. It is the stuff of horror films. I had never heard if it and had a sleepless night before the first one. In the event, it was done without my realising that it had happened.

    After so many I have some scar tissue in one area but even with that I only ever feel slight pressure, no pain.

    I now joke that it is preferable to a flu jab. At least I never have a numb bum after an eye injection. 😄

  • The alternative is sooooo much worse. It's not fun and I'm sure some people experience more pain than others. But just shove it behind you till the next one and ask for your xtra pain drops .

    I'm always a bad tempered so andso the day before...then think Ah what was all the fuss about ?

    Hugs .

  • I don't think I shall be bad-tempered before the next injection, I think I shall be in too much of a funk, shaking and wobbling. But, as you say, the alternative is unthinkable.

  • so sorry your having so much pain maritravel, i think most of us have at some point ,

    so we understand, personally i have found its who does the injections, after 3 and half yrs i have been lucky enough to find a Doc who is brilliant ...he did both eyes in July and again last week, plus he has a great bedside manner :) perfect!!! ....why cant they all be like him ?

  • Ah! Yes. That's the question we'd all like an answer to.

  • Always make sure to tell the surgeon if you feel pain during the injection as well. I find some patients treated with lidogel experience pain after the injection as well. Lidogel is used in larger offices because of the ability to quickly get through patients. Seeing as they are usually more busy the lidogel doesn't always set in properly. It amazes me that some doctors don't use lidocaine to numb the injection site. Though it takes more time and attention it ensures a painless injection both during and post. And speculums may help with infection reduction but when in a rush could scratch the cornea with ease. Sorry about your experience

  • Hello. I'm on my second eye now. My first needed only four or five injections before it became stable. But, sadly, there had already been some loss of central vision. Like you, reading is my greatest pleasure. I am now on a longer-term regime for injections in my second eye, which is still leaking. I've now had about fifteen injections in all and each one has been painful - one or two being absolutely agonising. I've queried everything and the nurse-practitioner who routinely gives the injection is aware of how I feel. I know she does her best but still....the Macular Society advised me to ask my GP for a good painkiller and she gave me Co-codamol (paracetamol had made almost no difference). I took two about an hour before the procedure and the injection was not quite so bad - pretty painful but bearable. Because this eye is the only one I can read with I know I have to care for it - and the injections are the only way. One thing you could ask about: whether the anaesthesia they use is the kind that works immediately or the kind that needs about ten minutes to work. I do hope you can resolve this and can continue to read, because that is so important to you. Very best wishes.

  • Thank you, contact with other people helps a lot and leaves me feeling less isolated. I sometimes think I complain too much (I have a low pain threshold and although she is long gone, I can hear my mother's voice behind me "Get on with it girl, no one wants a whinger"! Old habits are hard to break. I will go armed with lots of questions for the needle operator but if, as it so often is, it is one of the consultants doing it, then it is more difficult to get his attention - and time.

  • sorry to hear you had a problem I have only had 7 injections but they have all been fine- very small pain with a couple and others perfect- I still get a bit nervous but not terrified like before the first one!! We are given some caramelise drops afterwards to use when sore and they work very well

  • Caramellose I think!!

  • What are those drops? I have antibiotic ones to use for 5 days but that's all. Should I ask for the carmellose drops do you think? For a moment, on a quick read, I thought you were given sweeties to calm you down, and I thought "Now that sounds a good clinic to be attending. Wonder where it is". But drops for the eye, different story!

  • that's funny!! no they are soothing sterile drops so do ask about them!!

  • I have had 9 injections and that last was a bit more pain than the others, That was ok after a couple of hours and used he drops that was supplied. Must say that there is a big improvement now and is well worth it.

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