Diabetic Macular Oedema

What is Diabetic Macular Oedema?

Diabetic macular oedema is an eye-related complication in diabetic patients, which is associated with the accumulation of fluid in the central portion of the retina (macula). The macula is a small area of the retina at the back of the eye, which is responsible for the centre of our field of vision. Over the course of illness, diabetic patients may experience a complication known as diabetic retinopathy.

What are the symptoms of Diabetic Macular Oedema?

Diabetic retinopathy is characterized by damaged blood vessels in the eye, and escape of fluid from the blood vessels.

Accumulation of fluid in the macula causes:

  • Blurry vision
  • Distortion
  • Blind spots

Types of Diabetic Macular Oedema

Depending on the method in which fluid enters the macula, diabetic macular oedema can be classified into the following:

Focal diabetic macular oedema

  • caused by rings of hard deposits formed from the leakage of microaneurysms (abnormal blood vessels)

Diffuse macular oedema

  • caused by leakage from retinal capillaries and arterioles (blood vessels located at the back of the eye), and microaneurysms.

What are the best treatments for Diabetic Macular Oedema?

Laser Treatment

For focal diabetic macular oedema, laser treatment may be sufficient to stop the leakage of microaneurysms.

Injection Therapy (Anti-VEGF or Dexamethasone)

If the central macula (fovea) is involved, then it is not safe to use laser therapy as it may damage the surrounding tissue. The latest treatment involves an injection of medication (anti-VEGF or Dexamethasone) into the eye, which would control the leakage of these abnormal blood vessels.

This treatment is not a cure, and the patients would be required to have further injections and frequent monitoring until the condition is under control. Furthermore, it is very important to work with your family doctor or endocrinologist to control your blood glucose level.

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