Eye injections increase glaucoma risk

Patients who receive seven or more Intravitreous eye injections of bevacizumab (Avastin) each year are at a higher risk of eventually needing glaucoma surgery according to study results recently published in the JAMA Ophthalmology medical journal. Intravitreous injections are the standard therapy for patients suffering from the wet form of macular degeneration.

Researchers examined data from more than 800 people in British Columbia who had bevacizumab injections between 2009 and 2013. While only 74 ended up requiring glaucoma surgery, those who had received seven or more injections a year had almost 2.5 times greater risk of needing glaucoma surgery compared to those who only had three or fewer injections.

Researchers hypothesize that the intravitreous injections elevate the intraocular pressure and more frequent injections may lead to damage. Despite the connection, researchers stress that due to the severity of vision loss caused by wet macular degeneration, the injection therapy is still the most effective treatment for it and therefore necessary. Doctors are encouraged to monitor patients’ intraocular pressure and the optic nerve while using intravitreous therapy.*

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