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Repeated anti-VEGF injections may increase glaucoma risk

Patients being treated with anti-VEGF injections for the wet form of macular degeneration face an increased risk of developing glaucoma.

Researchers at the Wheaton Eye Clinic evaluated data from patients who had received at least one anti-VEGF injection between Jan 1, 2005 and December 31, 2012. The 1,055 patients' records they examined had a diagnosis of wet AMD, no prior history of bilateral injections and no history of ocular hypertension or glaucoma before they had received their first injection. In addition, they had no diseases in the unaffected eye that could lead to a diagnosis of glaucoma.

Forty-two patients were diagnosed with unilateral glaucoma or elevated ocular hypertension; 40 of these patients developed the disease in their eye receiving injections but not in the unaffected eye.

Researchers found an increased risk for the development of ocular hypertension and glaucoma with frequent anti-VEGF injections over a 6-month period. Researchers believe this may be due to the process of injections themselves causing an increased pressure imbalance between the vitreous cavity and the area of the lens that is filled with aqueous humor.

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