In cases of diabetic macular edema refractory to laser, intravitreal triamcinolone injection may be performed. This is done under sterile conditions with 0.1 ml of the suspension injected directly into the vitreous cavity. Because the steroid is injected directly into the eye, the effect is almost immediate. Patients notice improvement in vision as early as a few days to 2 weeks after the injection. The effect of the injection may last up to three months after which another injection may be needed.
This procedure however is not without its risks. Infection of the eye called endophthalmitis has been reported in a few cases. For some steroid responders, they develop glaucoma. Still, others may develop or have an accelerated progression of their cataracts. Ask your vitreoretinal specialist if this procedure is right for you.
Dr. Manolette Roque is an ophthalmologist whose practice includes general ophthalmology (which includes cataract surgery) with subspecialty work in uveitis and ocular immunology, cornea and external disease, and refractive surgery.