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Macular Society
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Eye pain after Lucentis injection

I am 72 and started eye injections about 4 years ago. One shot, left eye every 8 weeks. I, too, have extreme pain and light sensitivity for 12-18 hours after injection. My eye weeps, which causes pain from the salty tears, which leads to my eye getting crusted over. When I move my eye it causes the tearing again.

I was told it is a reaction to the “procedure” not the Lucentis. I was given a prednisone eye drop to use after receiving the shot. It worked well the first time, but now the pain seems to be as intense as before the eye drop. I feel like I must be the only one in this clinic that has such extreme pain. My doc does not seem to care much about it. I did take a selfie of my eye which I shared with him at the one visit. He prescribed the prednisone eye drops. It is a comfort to read about others with the same reaction. I do use ice as well, and have my own otc meds routine including Turmeric. Do not think it works too well.

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Have you had this "extreme pain" for ALL 4 years of injections or just recently? Your doc, "who does not seem to care," is correct when saying it is a "reaction to the procedure” which of course is "his procedure."

A skilled injector, with a good technique, will cause no pain during the injection and the hours afterwards.

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Yes, all 4 years. I switched doctors 2years ago, but newer doc was new to procedure and very “putsy” in his procedure. Had the same reaction. Returned to previous doctor. With so few doctors doing this procedure in our state, a second opinion is difficult to obtain.

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Since you are receiving only about 6 injections a year, you might consider traveling a little further to a larger city. Also, in four years have the painful injections kept your sight from getting worse?

I'm in Boston and every 6th Wednesday afternoon my ret doc's waiting room is packed because she's so good.

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My eye sight has been stable and possibly better.

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He uses drops for pain killer and only the Lucentis injection.

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I'm actually surprised at how little pain I get with my Lucentis injection. My eye doc is excellent in the admin of the shot. If you are anywhere near Minnesota, I an give you his name by private email or.message.

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I am in MN. My doc is in Oakdale, east side of TC. I understand that we have few choices in ret docs. He does a fine job with injection, it is the hours following that are tough.

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I would appreciate the name of your MN doc. Thank you.

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Mary,

I sent you a private message here on this site.

Linda

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Did you get my private message?

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Yes, thank you. Busy with Christmas stuff! I think we have met, or...our paths have crossed from time to time here in Stillwater. Did you ever work at Stillwater clinic? I know you said you were at the prison for a number of years.

After the holidays, maybe we can meet for coffee. Meantime, have a wonderful holiday! 🌷

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Not at Stillwater clinic. Children's Hospital in 70s & 80s. Managed a bird store in Stillwater in 90s. Private duty and prison nurse in 2000s. Parish Nurse after retiring from prison. Active with eastern bluebirds and purple martins. Urban sketching. Amateur theater in the past. Coffee, yes, let's do that!

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I too started getting extreme pain but since they’ve stopped using iodine and use chlorhexidine instead the pain has gone (fingers crossed due more next Wednesday) I still get soreness and weeping from eyes and nose for about six hours but I can put up with that.

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Thank you for this information. I will ask about it at my next injection.

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So, had my injection today. Asked about chlorohexidine and was told that it is not used in this clinical group as betadine has a better track record for avoiding infection. An antibiotic ointment was placed in my eye and then covered eye with eye patch x 4 hrs. He is willing to add a week on to time between shots as things look quite calm in eye.

However, it is the follow up time that is the issue, not the shot itself.

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It's true iodine is preferable to chlorhexidine but if they won't change then they at least need to wash it out well for you. Was it any better this time?

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Thank you for asking! Yes, things seem better this time. I asked for an additional rinse and having the patch over the eye has allowed me to function must better. I did rest for a few hours, but am up and feeling no discomfort in the eye. Have yet to remove the patch...

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I have had that pain with my last two injections and landed up in accident and emergency. They too put antibiotic ointment in my eye (a lot) and held my eye closed while a nurse put a thick padding on my eye and plastered it tightly to my face . I had to keep it like that for 12 hours and then take it off and had to then use antibiotic drops . The pain actually makes me physically sick! I must say it was a lot better with the dressing on,which stopped it blinking . The Dr. at the clinic said the surface of my eye was so dry and told me to ask for ointment to be put in after my injection . I have purchased the dressing and plaster in preparation for next injection . The trouble is we get no sympathy, as most people do not have this extreme pain . I have had about 20 injection of eyelea and have always had bad pain 2/4hours after . But nothing like the pain I have had recently! There is no pain killer which lessens the pain in an eye , I have been told , only anaesthetic and that is very bad for the eye, as it is also very drying . Wish we could find a solution for this extreme pain !

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Meant to add that my eyesight is excellent .

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Wow! Sounds like the follow up condition of your eye is extremely painful. I can easily empathize with you. I used the Genteel ointment for two nights before injection. Asked for an extra “flush”. Then they put in an ointment and covered it with a patch. I am hopeful that with the same follow up tx next time, I will have a similar result.

I would like to ask the staff if any of them have had an eye shot. I feel like I must be their only patient with such a severe reaction. Patient education and support is SO lacking.

I hope your next appt has better results!

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I only had extreme pain after my first one with this Dr. My eye swelled up for 2 days after as well - he blamed the iodine - had no problem the second time. Rest of first year (4 - 6 weeks between shots) - but this second year has been horrible! Tried taping gauze over it but it still keeps blinking and running steady till I go to bed - then is fine by morning!

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I am on my third doctor for my eye injections. The first doctor upset me with his attitude. The second doctor was gracious, but his nurses never rinsed my eye at all after the injection. I was not pleased at that, but said nothing. The day that the doctor injected my eye in a most painful manner was the last time I went to him. I was on the verge of never returning to any doctor for another injection.

My friend convinced me to “try again” with a new doctor, and so I did.

I have myopic macular degeneration. I get Lucentis injections every 5 weeks. This “third” doctor is kind and gentle. He gives me an injection for numbing pain, even though I have already had numbing drops administered. Then the injection, which I do not feel, followed by a lengthy time spent carefully rinsing out my eye, and then administering some sort of salve in my eyelash area when my eye is closed.

I have no pain. If anything, my eye itself might feel “sore,” but no pain. Please find another doctor for yourself. I have been going for these injections every 5 weeks for 4 years now. They control my life because I am on a 5 week schedule. I am blessed for having found this wonderful doctor with his skill at giving painless injections.

Again, please try to find another doctor for your treatment.

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Thank you for your insight. Even with 8 weeks between shots I feel like they control my life. Every event planned is done with consideration of my eye shots. It’s good to learn about other reactions experienced with this shot.

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Sending you a hug. You've suffered long enough!

I take 2 paracetamol about an hour before inj and after. The biggest help though is a thorough wash out of the iodine and soothing drops administered in clinic. If you have a true sensitivity to iodine ask for chlorhexidine alternative. I continue to use sterile soothing drops regularly after inj. and it helps enormously ( if eye tears up it's dry and needs lubrication). - I find Hylotear very good and bottle lasts 6 months after opening as it has special dispenser ( although to be on safe side I open new bottle after every inj). Hypromellose drops also good but only last 28days.

Someone else's tip is to clean crusty eye using same sterile soothing drops which I haven't tried yet but sounds good although since I started insisting on good wash out I haven't had the gunge!

Good luck with the new doc, the injectors technique and attitude makes such a difference too.

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I have suffered 3 episodes of dreadful pain... the key for me is diluted iodine and a really really good wash out ... a couple of pain killers .... if all that fails a double brandy.

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Best suggestion yet! Double brandy! 🤓 I am interested to see how things go next time with ointment and patch plus better eye drop preparation at home. I do take naproxen and acetaminophen before and after.

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Also, I believe very strongly that these clinics could/should provide better patient education in the beginning! Speaking as a health educator, patient support is lacking.

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Dear Maryvic,

I am copying a link to our fact sheet on pain following injections:

macularsociety.org/sites/de...

This may be useful as a conversation point with your ophthalmologist.

Kind regards,

Macular Society Advice and Information Service

info@macularsociety.org

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Thank you for this. I will try to print it out and share it. I did take a selfie of my eye two days after I had rec’d injection once and was prescribed prednisone drops to use following the injection. I think it made an impression.

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I have the same problem! I can't even hold that eye open for hours - always get it in the morning so it's a long hard day! Yet - about every 3rd shot - I have no reaction at all!! So it's hard to figure out what's causing it. My Dr. makes me use steroid eye drops 4 times a day for a week after each shot. I have to go again in a couple of days and am dreading it - have already lost part of my central vision - just been getting worse over the past year in spite of the shots so am very tempted to just stop going! I live in a rural area of B.C. and it's a 2 1/2 trip each way! Has anyone ever tried just stopping the needles??

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