Diabetic Macular Edema

What is Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)?

Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a significant manifestation of diabetic retinopathy rather than an independent disease entity. The macula, being the most crucial region of the retina responsible for central vision and image formation, becomes particularly vulnerable. The accumulation of fluid in and around the macula can lead to vision impairment, distortion, and blurriness. Timely diagnosis and appropriate management of DME are crucial in preserving and restoring visual function for individuals with diabetes.

It is an accumulation of fluid in the macula part of the retina that controls our most detailed vision abilities. In diabetics fluid can leak out of the blood vessels and get collected in the macular area. DME develops in patients with diabetes of more than 5 years of onset, more so if diabetes is not well controlled. Diabetic retinopathy is a disease that damages the blood vessels in the retina, resulting in vision loss. Left untreated, these blood vessels begin to build up pressure in the eye and leak fluid, causing DME.

Who is at risk For Diabetic Macular edema?

Uncontrolled diabetes since long time

Severe hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Kidney disease or Diabetic Nephropathy due to fluid retention

High levels of fats in the blood (Hyperlipidaemia)

What visual problems will a patient with DME have?

Blurry Vision

Distorted Vision

Eventually blindness if it goes untreated

How will I know if I have Diabetic Retinopathy & DME?

Examination by a trained Ophthalmologist/Retina Specialist.

Fundus Photography

Ocular Coherence Tomography

Fundus Fluorescein Angiography

What are the management option available for DME?

Strict Diabetic Control

Strict Control of Blood Pressure, Cholesterol

Laser Photocoagulation

Anti - VEGF Injection

Corticosteroid/ Ozurdex Intravitreal Injection


What are the management option available for DME?

Recovery cannot be predicted

Treatment aims at preventing further deterioration in vision

It also depends on the severity of Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Edema

Systemic parameters also need to be strictly controlled

How can you prevent DME?

1. Regular Screening:
Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at between 6 months to 1 year. If you have diabetic retinopathy, you may need to have eye exams more often.

2. Control Blood Glucose:
Keep your blood glucose levels as close to normal as you can. Hyperglycemia initiates many other risk factors, so controlling blood glucose can prevent other diabetic complications and slows down or even prevents the development of retinopathy.

3. Control Blood Pressure:
Studies have demonstrated that keeping your blood pressure as close to normal as possible reduces the risk of complications by 30%.

4. Control Blood Lipids:
Keeping your cholesterol levels as close to normal as possible reduces the risk of complications.

5. Lead a healthy lifestyle

6. Exercise regularly

7. Proper diet in consultation with physician