Here’s What Diabetic Macular Edema Means
Diabetes can affect many parts of the body, including the eyes (i.e. diabetic macular edema). When diabetes is uncontrolled, the disease may start to affect a patient’s retina, the tissue in the back of the eye.
- The retinal blood vessels weaken and leak, releasing fluid that can cause retinal swelling.
- When the retina swells up in the area that’s responsible for a patient’s central vision, this is referred to as diabetic macular edema.
- Once the macula is swollen, a patient’s vision can decline quite drastically depending on the extent of the damage.
- The patient may experience blurred, wavy, distorted, or complete loss of vision in the affected eye.
Diabetic patients should get yearly eye exams
It is recommended for all diabetic patients to see an eye doctor yearly for a dilated comprehensive eye exam. At that visit, the doctor will examine the retina trough a microscope and use an OCT machine to take a cross-sectional scan of the macula.
If macular edema is diagnosed…
If macular edema is diagnosed on the retinal scan, your eye doctor may monitor, but is more likely refer you to a retina doctor for further management.
Although the OCT scan usually suffices for diagnosis, the retina doctor may also inject special fluorescein dye into your arm to confirm the extent of the swelling through fluorescein angiography.
Diabetic macular edema treatment options
Macular edema is most often treated with anti-VEGF eye injections. Steroid medicines or a focal laser may also be used as a backup resort.
Macular edema can resolve with treatment but has better prognosis when caught early.
The best way to prevent diabetic macular edema is to maintain good blood sugar control and see your eye doctor for regular diabetic eye exams.
Choose Woolfson Eye Institute for diabetic macular edema treatment
If you would like to be evaluated for macular edema by our eye doctors, call a Woolfson Eye Institute office nearest you for an appointment (our locations can be found here) ( https://www.woolfsoneye.com/locations/ ).