Cataracts and Intravitreal injections - Macular Society

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Cataracts and Intravitreal injections

rosyG profile image

My question really follows on from the last post but am putting it separately in case it gets missed! My cataract in the eye in which I am having Eyelea injections has got worse ( compared with over a year ago at my opticians) and I have only found one reference to the injections being a cause ( of course steroids are listed as causing cataracts), Has anyone any experience of this? I don't think it is quite at the stage of needing to be operated on and judging form Ayaya's post below the doctors probably wouldn't be too keen.

I had hoped to ask this at my last appointment but we have been moved from a branch of Moorfields to the main hospital and they were so busy with two lots of patients that I wasn't examined, just given my injection. I will ensure I ask next time but would be grateful for any advice on this as it is troubling at present. There also seems to be an increased chance of CME after cataract removal if one has/ ever had BVRO so any information on this would be gratefully received too

14 Replies

Hi rosyG

There are reports that the injections "can" cause a speeding up of the progress of cataracts. Also: Removal of cataracts carries risks of retinal detachment or gloucoma or even MD. But it does not follow that anything untoward "will" happen. A good motto may be, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Your eye clinic will know exactly the general state of your eyes and what the risks in your case may be; they will weigh up the pros and cons in each case.

I understand that you are worried. It would be great if consultants would give us more information and give us the chance to ask questions on our specific conditions. It begs the question: how much can they foresee. The thought that it may be down to trial and error is indeed worrying. I hope you will get your chance to talk to the specialist to put your mind at rest. Not knowing what is going on is often worse than eye condition itself.

Hope all goes well for you, rosyG

rosyG profile image
rosyG in reply to Ayayay80

Thank you- that's a good analysis. At the previous appointment the doctor said "Oh you've got cataract" but I'd had a mild cataract for a while. I have noticed it's effect more recently and the optician showed me the scans and how it has worsened over 18months.

I will try and get some answers at my next appointment!!

Ayayay80 profile image
Ayayay80 in reply to rosyG

In my right eye (my good eye?) I have dry AMD, quite advanced cataract and lots of floaters which I see all the time, not just when when looking into light. Being dry AMD, obviously it has never been treated. So I cannot blame injections on that. It seems they do not know whether it is the dry AMD or the cataract that is the greater cause of the poor vision in that eye. Probably a bit of both. My vision in that eye is almost as bad as in the left eye with wet AMD and a slightly lesser cataract. So, nothing is clear-cut.

rosyG profile image
rosyG in reply to Ayayay80

Yes - the cataract stops them seeing everything presumably? I need to ask more next time!!

It seems that any interference in the eye can kick start cataract or cause exiting small ones to grow.

The techniques used nowadays are such that it does appear necessary to wait until they have “ripened” the old term for one which has grown. They are simple vacuumed out.

My wife’s aunt had both hers dealt with at successfully at age 98 and now at a well advanced 106 still reads without specs!

Ayayay80 profile image
Ayayay80 in reply to

Tell the aunt "Well done, she is an inspiration!!

thank you- very encouraging!!

My brother and I have been very myopic all our lives. We were also born with congenital cataracts on both eyes. In an effort to improve myopia, he had cataracts removed I his forties and immediately had a retinal detachment. I had cataracts removed in my forties electively to improve the myopia and night vision which it did. However I had fluid and macular edema causing blurred vision for about a year after surgery. In your case the benefits may out weigh the risks....I cannot say. Please have all your questions with you at your appointment.

That's very helpful- there is a 30 percent chance of CME after cataract op if one has previously treated BRVO so it's quite a risk but may mean waiting until it's very bad.....

debharve profile image
debharve in reply to rosyG

What are these abbreviations?

I have had cataract op in both eyes recently. I have also got and in both. I lost central vision in my right eye 5 years ago and no longer have injections in that eye. I have had 16 eylea injections to date in my left eye and it remains stable. The cataract op improved my vision which is currently 20/20 and my consultant says injections should not affect my long term vision after cat op and hopefully my end will remain stable. Good luck for the future.

That's very good- I hope your vision stays at this level, I'm not sure about the effect on AMD of the op - the 30 per cent figure I found was for retinal occlusions....

Hello Rosy,

Lots of helpful replies here.

Below is the Macular Society's factsheet about cataracts and macular degeneration which may be of help;

macularsociety.org/sites/de...

Ophthalmologists are often reluctant to operate on a person's cataract when that are treating them with injections for another condition.

Best wishes

Macular Society

rosyG profile image
rosyG in reply to Macular_1

Thankyou. It’s difficult to find references to cataract complications in eyes previously treated for bvro- I’ve only found one so far- the 30per cent increase in CME. Will post if get answers at next appointment

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