Fortunately researchers have developed iVenna implants that may spare macular degeneration patients the pain and stress of having eye injections.
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness that typically affects the elderly. Most patients suffering from the wet macular degeneration must receive monthly injections to repair and prevent the development of abnormal blood vessels associated with this eye disease.
Developed by Dr. Balamurali Ambat at the Moran Eye Center, the iVeena implant is a new device that allows medication to be delivered into the eye without the need for eye injections.
This new implant resembles a tiny, clear, horshoe-shaped ring that can be implanted behind the lens of the eye during cataract surgery. It will hold a reservoir of medication that passes through a time-release membrane.
The iVeena implants will allow for eye medication such as that used to treat macular degeneration to be delivered into the ey over a 6 to 12 month period. Once the medication is exhausted, the iVeena implants can be recharged through a small incision. Medication can then be injected into the implant via a small needle and valve.
The new eye implant is expected to be on the market within five years.
While drugs and devices continued to be developed to address the growing concern over Macular Degeneration, injections to the eye place people at risk of infection, bleeding and retinal detachment. With thousands of macular degeneration patients being treated each year, it is estimated over 1 million eye injections occur in the USA alone just to treat this eye disease.
The iVeena implant is hoped to prevent the need for macular degeneration patients receiving these injections.