What is Diabetic Macular Edema?
Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) is a condition in which the macula gets filled up with fluid. Macula controls our most intricate vision abilities and is a part of the retina. Leakage of blood vessels causes macula to be filled up with fluid. To get Diabetic Macular Edema, a person must be a victim of diabetic retinopathy, a disease which causes vision impairment due to damage of blood vessels in retina. If not cured, it results in Diabetic Macular Edema due to the accumulation of pressure in eye from leaked fluid. Diabetics are majority of the people affected by Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Edema.
What are the Types of Diabetic Macular Edema?
There are 2 types of Diabetic Macular Edema:
Focal Diabetic Macular Edema: This occurs because of abnormal functioning of blood vessels in the eye.
Diffuse Diabetic Macular Edema: This occurs in people with very thin blood vessels or people who have widening/swelling of the retinal capillaries.
What are the Risk Factors of Diabetic Macular Edema?
- Those who are diabetic for a substantial period of time are at an increased risk for getting diabetic macular edema.
- High Blood Pressure (hypertension).
- Retention of fluid.
- Low levels of protein in body fluids (hypoalbuminemia).
- High levels of fat in blood (hyperlipidemia).
What are the Symptoms of Diabetic Macular Edema?
Symptoms of diabetic macular edema consist of double vision, floaters, blurry vision, all which can result in blindness if Diabetic Macular Edema is not treated.
What is the Treatment of Diabetic Macular Edema?
Treatment for Diabetic Macular Edema depends on its type. However, laser procedure is done for both diffuse and focal Diabetic Macular Edema. Majority of the times, grid laser treatment is used for treating diffuse Diabetic Macular Edema and focal laser treatment is used for treating focal Diabetic Macular Edema. The aim of both treatments is stopping the leakage in the macula.
What is the Recovery Period of Diabetic Macular Edema?
Normally it takes 3 to 6 months to recover after a Diabetic Macular Edema procedure. There will be reduction of swelling in and around the macula, which is an indication of proper healing of the affected eye. The patient may experience sensitivity to light, eye irritation and in the center of vision one may experience black spots. All these are normal side effects which subside with time.
Can Diabetic Macular Edema Be Prevented?
It is little that one could do to prevent Diabetic Macular Edema/diabetic retinopathy; however, there are certain measures which can be undertaken to improve the chances of avoiding Diabetic Macular Edema. Some of the measures or lifestyle changes that need to be adopted to prevent diabetic macular edema are maintaining a healthy lifestyle, daily exercising, eating green leafy vegetables and lots of fruit. It is also important to have yearly visits to ophthalmologist to keep all eye diseases and conditions at bay.