Diabetic Macular Edema

Diabetic Macular Edema: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

When you have diabetes, you have a lot to manage. High blood sugar level can result in other conditions, like eye problems.

The most common one is diabetic macular edema. It’s serious and can rob you of your vision.

That’s a scary possibility, however knowing what to look out for and getting the right treatment can assist protect your sight.

Even if you do not observe issues, when you have diabetes, it’s crucial you get your eyes inspected every year. If you do have an issue, see an ophthalmologist right away. This type of doctor treats eye illness. If you capture it early, there’s a chance you can stop long-lasting damage.


High blood glucose damages the blood vessels in your eyes. That can make them leak or outgrow control in your retina, the light-sensitive area at the back of your eye. This is called diabetic retinopathy.

When fluid leaks into your retina, it can cause diabetic macular edema. The leaking makes your retina swell, which obstructs the work of your macula, the unique, sensitive part that provides you sharp vision.


Diabetic macular edema does not constantly cause symptoms.

However you may:

  • Have images straight in front of you appear blurred or wavy
  • See colors that seem “washed out”

If this takes place to you, see your doctor right away.

Also read: Diabetes and Blurred Vision

Getting a Diagnosis

Prior to any screening, your doctor may ask you concerns:

  • Have you observed changes in your vision? If so, what kind?
  • Have you been detected with diabetes? If so, when?
  • Does anybody in your family have it?
  • How have your blood glucose and A1c levels been lately?
  • Do you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol?
  • Do you have any other medical conditions?

You will require a thorough eye examination, which normally consists of:

  • A visual acuity test. It inspects how well you see at different ranges.
  • A dilated eye examination. Your doctor will use drops to expand your pupils and look at the inside of your eyes. He’ll search for signs of disease, including harmed or leaking capillary, swelling, and fatty deposits on the retina.

If your doctor believes you have diabetic macular edema, you may likewise need one or both of these tests:

  • A fluorescein angiogram (FA) takes photos of your retina using a special color that helps discover any leaking blood vessels. The color is injected into your arm, but takes a trip rapidly to your eye.
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT) uses a special camera to photograph your retina. It is very delicate and can discover even small amounts of fluid and swelling.

Questions for Your Doctor

  • What is triggering my symptoms?
  • Will I lose my sight?
  • Am I at risk for other eye diseases?
  • Do you have experience dealing with diabetic macular edema?
  • What type of treatment do you advise for me?
  • What can I expect from it?
  • What else can I do to secure my vision?
  • How typically will I have to have my eyes examined?


To treat diabetic macular edema, physicians may use drugs that are injected into your eyes to assist stop leaking, and to slow the growth of new members vessels. These drugs include:

  • Avastin (bevacizumab)
  • Eylea (aflibercept)
  • Iluvien (fluocinolone acetonide)
  • Lucentis (ranibizumab)
  • Macugen (pegaptanib)

In severe cases, you may also have laser photocoagulation. A doctor will use a tiny laser on your eye to seal leaking blood vessels. You may need more than one treatment to manage the issue. It’s typically not painful, however you might have minor stinging feeling when the laser touches you.

Sometimes steroid injections may help.

Another treatment is a surgery called vitrectomy. This is typically done because of bleeding (not macular edema), and medical professionals take out the fluid that is clouding your vision and replace it with a clear service.

Looking after Yourself

There’s a lot you can do to prevent your condition from becoming worse. First, handle your diabetes by managing your blood sugar, high blood pressure, and cholesterol.

Diet changes, keeping a healthy weight, and workout can all help you manage these issues. Talk with your doctor about the best way to do this.

See also: Keeping Eyes Healthy with Diabetes

Likewise, don’t avoid routine eye examinations. Symptoms can slip up. Your doctor has to see you to keep track of track of how your treatment is working.

Have you already lost some vision? Talk with your doctor about visual aids, like magnifying glasses, if glasses alone aren’t enough. Ask him about resources in your area that can assist you learn abilities for living with vision loss.

What to Expect

Treatment can assist you safeguard your vision. It can significantly decrease your chance of losing your vision.

Stay on top of your diabetes, and stick to your treatment strategy. You’ll have the best chance of maintaining your sight and staying independent.

Getting Support

For more details about the eye conditions related to diabetes, go to the web site of the American Diabetes Association. They have links that can assist you get the support you need.

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