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Iluvien Treatment

Announcing Iluvien®, A New FDA Approved Treatment for Diabetic Macular Edema

Macular edema is a leading cause of blindness in adults ages 20 to 74 and the most frequent cause of vision loss in people with diabetic eye disease. Patients with diabetic macular edema now have a new FDA-approved longer lasting treatment option that has been shown to be very effective in helping preserve vision.
Iluvien® is an intravitreal implant of fluocinolone acetonide injected into the eye, where it slowly releases a low-dose corticosteroid therapy over an extended time of 36 months. The goal is to reduce swelling and inflammation in the macula, a small area in the center of the retina, the light-sensitive area in the back of the eye that transmits images to the brain.
What Is Macular Edema?
Diabetes can have a major impact on every area of the body, including the eyes.
The chronic high levels of blood sugar caused by diabetes damage the tiny blood vessels in the macula, a small area in the center of the retina that is critical to sharp vision. As the blood vessels weaken, they leak fluid, causing swelling known as Macular Edema. Without treatment, eyesight can gradually become severely impaired, and total vision loss can occur.
Early detection and treatment are critical to stabilizing the eye and preserving sight. But even with treatment, some people may still experience progressively worsening vision, making it difficult to do everyday tasks, including watching television, reading and driving a car.
Standard treatment for macular edema includes laser therapy and corticosteroid eye drops or injections. Laser therapy seals off the leaking blood vessels, while corticosteroid medication reduces inflammation and prevents further damage to the retina.
How Iluvien Works
Iluvien is injected into the back of the eye. The implant is held securely in place by the pressure of the fluid inside the back of the eye. Then, over a period of 36 months, a low dose of corticosteroid is released into the macula.. The corticosteroid has both anti-inflammatory and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor properties to reduce swelling and prevent abnormal blood vessel growth, a frequent complication of diabetic eye disease.
Iluvien is already widely used in Europe and now is available in the United States. FDA-sponsored clinical trials showed excellent results: Just three weeks after receiving Iluvien, patients reported better visual acuity. Two years later, more than 28 percent said they experienced an improvement in their best-corrected visual acuity of 15 letters or more on a standardized eye chart.
Iluvien is not recommended for patients who have had an elevation in eye pressure secondary to steroid treatment. In addition, corticosteroids are not recommended for patients who have a history of eye infections due to bacteria, fungus or viruses.
To discover if you are a candidate for Iluvien to treat Diabetic Macular Edema, call Gulf Coast Eye Institute now, (956) 320-7510. Or click here to schedule your appointment online.