Diabetic Macular Edema: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment | Bausch + Lomb

Diabetic Macular Edema

Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a complication of diabetes caused by fluid accumulation in the macula, or central portion of the eye, that causes the macula to swell.

The macula is filled with cells that are responsible for sharp, straight ahead vision that helps with reading and driving. When the macula begins to fill with fluid and swell, the ability of those cells is impaired causing blurred vision that can be severe.

What Causes Diabetic Macular Edema?

Diabetic macular edema is a result of another complication of diabetes, called diabetic retinopathy, in which blood vessels in the eye are damaged, allowing fluid to escape.

Symptoms of Diabetic Macular Edema

Patients who suffer from diabetes have a risk of developing DME over time.
If you have diabetes you should have your eyes examined regularly to help identify any eye health issues early. Be sure to mention if you notice changes in your vision such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Wavy vision
  • Changes viewing colors

Treatment for Diabetic Macular Edema

Treatments performed are aimed at maintaining vision for the patient, and reducing future vision loss:

Medication: Injected or implanted into the eye. Medications can reverse or stop abnormal blood vessel growth or the effects of inflammation in the eye.

Laser surgery: Uses a laser light to close leaking blood vessels, preventing more fluid from entering the macula. Patients should be rechecked to make sure the DME is responding to therapy.

If you have diabetes you should have your eyes examined regularly to help identify any eye health issues early.

Photo courtesy of National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.

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