Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the UK. AMD is an eye condition that causes problems with the central vision, with 50% of the UK population experiencing some visual symptoms by the age of 75 years. Advanced AMD is described either as a gradual onset Atrophic (Dry) or rapid onset Neovascular (Wet) form, affecting one or both eyes, while atrophic eyes may progress into the neovascular form. The early treatment of Neovascular AMD is essential for reducing the risk of severe vision loss. The application (intra-vitreal injection) of the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agent, ranibizumab (Lucentis) into the eye, has improved the prognosis for Neovascular AMD patients. However, patients reported pain after injections, and this is an issue of concern.
In my PhD, I aim to evaluate (qualitatively and quantitatively) pain experienced by patients receiving anti-VEGF intra-vitreal injections and the impact on their compliance with treatment and wellbeing.
Demonstration of the practical sessions of Ocular Pharmacology (OP2205)
Educational and Professional Qualifications
2018 – Present: PhD, Investigation of pain and discomfort associated with anti-VEGF injections, Cardiff University
2016-2018: MSc Neuroimaging: Methods and Applications, Cardiff University
2013-2016: BSc Pharmacology, University College London (UCL)
My research project is titled as ‘’Investigation of pain and discomfort associated with anti-VEGF injections”. Electrodermal activity (EDA) technique will be used during the injection as a subjective measure of anxiety (pain-associated). I will also analyse hi-resolution images captured by the anterior segment Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to compare the injection site appearance to pain experienced. This is a mixed methods study, involving qualitative and quantitative approaches, which includes OCT and EDA, combined with conventional pain VAS, and wellbeing & compliance questionnaires (interviews and focus groups). Through these measures, I aim to identify any key variations in treatment procedures, such as the devices used and clinician type. Determining these factors to impact patient’s pain experienced and compliance, may allow modification of treatment procedures to improve patient’s wellbeing and quality of life. In general, the findings could also apply to other treatments as well that involve intra-vitreal injections, making them more patient-friendly.
University Hospital of Wales
Dr Ashley Wood
Dr Jennifer Acton
Senior Lecturer & Director of Recruitment and Admissions