Tips to help reduce anxiety, fear, and nervousness
It’s important not to miss an anti-VEGF injection when you have wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), because these injections help prevent vision loss. However, it’s normal to experience some level of anxiety when it comes to receiving the injection itself. Many people are afraid of needles, and injections in the eye sound especially scary. But there’s good news—these injections are usually very quick and rarely painful.
Here are a few ways to cope with anxiety before your injection:
- Distract yourself. Bring or listen to a book, listen to music or play games on your phone while in the waiting room to keep your mind off the treatment.
- Bring support. Your caregiver likely accompanies you to most, if not all, ophthalmologist appointments. Talk to them about your fears and let them comfort you before and during the treatment. Simply having someone you care about bring you to an appointment, and if possible be in the room with you, can make you feel more at ease.
- Talk to your doctor about any concerns. Be open with your eye care team about fears you might have, and let them reassure you about the treatment’s safety and talk you through it step by step. This can have a huge impact on how comfortable you feel going to appointments.
- Educate yourself. Things that feel unfamiliar tend to seem scarier than they actually are. The more information you have about anti-VEGF treatments, the less nervous you will feel about them.
- Relax: Make sure you get enough sleep the night before an injection and give yourself enough time to get ready before appointments so you aren’t rushing. Once you get into a routine and experience the treatment a few times, you will likely become much more comfortable.