- Causes of DME
- 2 Types of DME
- DME Symptoms
- Treatment Options
The macula is an area located in the center of the retina that is responsible for visual sharpness. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back inner wall of the eye. DME occurs when there is an excess accumulation of fluid in the macula of the eye.
What causes diabetic macular edema?
- This weakens the tiny blood vessels in the retina and causes leakage of fluids in and around the macula.
- The damaged blood vessels and micro-aneurysms (tiny bulges) begin to build up pressure that causes edema (swelling) in the macula part of the retina, leading to diabetic macular edema (DME).
DME is a serious eye complication that obstructs the function of the macula, distorting vision.
2 types of diabetic macular edema
The 2 types of diabetic macular edema (DME) include
- Focal DME: Small spots of fluid leakage occur due to irregularities in the blood vessels in the eye.
- Diffuse DME: Leaks and swelling occur throughout the macula due to swelling of the retinal capillaries. The eyesight of a person with diffuse DME may be seriously affected.
Risk factors for DME
DME progresses over time in people who have diabetes. Risk factors that can increase the risk of DME in people with diabetes include
What are the symptoms of diabetic macular edema?
Diabetic macular edema (DME) doesn’t always cause symptoms in the early stages. A person with diabetes should have their eyes examined every year to help identify any signs of retinopathy or DME.
Some of the common symptoms of DME include:
If the above symptoms appear, the person must see the doctor right away. Sometimes, symptoms may not be noticed if a person has DME in only one eye.
How is diabetic macular edema treated?
Treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME) aims at maintaining the vision of the patient and preventing future loss of vision.
When left untreated, within a few months, vision can significantly worsen, and eventually, blindness may occur.
One or more of the following treatments may be recommended by the doctor to treat DME:
- Laser treatment: Tiny lasers are used to target and seal the leaking blood vessels, preventing fluid from entering the macula. Several laser treatments may be required to repair eye damage. Laser treatment helps maintain current vision and prevent further loss of vision.
- Injectable medications: There are two types of injectable medications, namely, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections and steroid injections. The ophthalmologist would decide on the specific medication and regularity of treatment that’s suitable for the patient.
- Anti-VEGF injections: Anti-VEGF medication is injected into the vitreous gel (the fluid in the center of the eye) using a short thin needle after applying numbing drops to the eye. Medications block the activity of VEGF and help stop leaking, stop the abnormal growth of the blood vessels, reduce swelling in the eye, and improve vision.
- Steroid injections: Sometimes, steroid injections may be used to help reduce swelling of the retina and improve vision if anti-VEGF medications are no longer effective. Steroid treatment may be provided as a single injection or implants that release the medication over time. However, because steroids may increase the risk of cataracts in some patients, the doctor will evaluate whether the benefit of using steroids outweighs the risk involved.
How can diabetic macular edema be prevented?
Taking the following measures can help prevent diabetic macular edema (DME) and protect the vision.
Preventive actions include:
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top What Is Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) Related Articles
What Are the 3 Most Common Symptoms of Undiagnosed Diabetes?Diabetes mellitus has become a worldwide epidemic, thanks to changing lifestyles and increasing obesity. Type 2 diabetes affects approximately 13% of the population of the United States. Worldwide prevalence of diabetes is estimated to be around 463 million people. Type 2 diabetes accounts for over 90% of patients with diabetes.
Can Type 1 Diabetes be Cured?Type 1 diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas. The organ doesn't make enough insulin. Learn what medical treatments can help ease your type 1 diabetes symptoms and speed up your recovery.
Can Type 2 Diabetes be Cured?Type 2 diabetes is a long-term medical condition in which the body is not able to regulate blood sugar (glucose) level because of the inability of the body to properly use insulin. An individual can get type 2 diabetes because of a number of factors that reduce insulin action or quantity in the body. The goals of diabetes management are to eliminate symptoms and prevent the development of complications. Many drugs, both oral and injectable, are available for diabetes management.
Body Blood Sugar LevelsHigh blood sugar can be a sign of diabetes or prediabetes. The drugs that treat it sometimes cause low blood sugar too. WebMD helps guide you through the effects of both.
Diabetes QuizTake the Diabetes Quiz and learn the causes, signs, symptoms, and types of this growing epidemic. What does diabetes have to do with obesity and diet? Learn about life as a diabetic.
Diabetes: What Raises and Lowers Your Blood Sugar Level?Want to lower your blood sugar? Learn to better control your glucose levels by preventing blood sugar spikes and swings to avoid neuropathy and other diabetes complications. Find foods that lower blood sugar, and identify foods and activities that raise high blood sugar risks.
Type 1 DiabetesWhat is type 1 diabetes? There are new treatments for juvenile diabetes, and more people with diabetes can be treated than ever before. Learn the symptoms of T1D, the causes, and find ways to control your blood glucose levels naturally.
Type 1 Diabetes QuizWhat are the causes of type 1 diabetes? Take this quiz and challenge your knowledge of causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments for this common condition, formerly known as juvenile diabetes.
Type 1 vs. Type 2 Diabetes: Differences
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic condition in which a person's blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high. Over 29.1 million children and adults in the US have diabetes. Of that, 8.1 million people have diabetes and don't even know it. Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent, juvenile) is caused by a problem with insulin production by the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent) is caused by:
Eating a lot of foods and drinking beverages with simple carbohydrates (pizza, white breads, pastas, cereals, pastries, etc.) and simple sugars (donuts, candy, etc.)
- Consuming too many products with artificial sweeteners (We found out that they are bad for us!)
- Lack of activity
While the signs and symptoms of both types of diabetes are the same, which include:
- Increased urination
- Increased hunger
- Increased thirst
- Unexplained weight loss.
However, the treatments are different. Type 1 diabetes is insulin dependent, which means a person with this type of diabetes requires treatment with insulin. People with type 2 diabetes require medication, lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise.
Type 2 DiabetesType 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that may be reversible with diet and lifestyle changes. Symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, fatigue, and an unusual odor to your urine. Most people don't know they have type 2 diabetes until they have a routine blood test. Treatment options include medications, a type 2 diabetes diet, and other lifestyle changes.
Type 2 Diabetes QuizWhat causes type 2 diabetes? Can it be prevented? Take this online quiz and challenge your knowledge of this common condition. Also, get the truth about myths and facts!
Type 2 Diabetes SignsLearn about type 2 diabetes warning signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. Find out why thirst, headaches, and infections could be signs of diabetes. Discover the treatment options for people with type 2 diabetes, including medicines and lifestyle improvements.
Diabetes Urine TestsUrine tests for individuals with diabetes is important to check for diabetes-related kidney disease and severe hypoglycemia. With proper monitoring of blood glucose levels, diabetic-kidney disease can be avoided.
What Are the Early Signs of Diabetes?The early signs of diabetes depend on if one has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children, whereas type 2 diabetes is prevalent in adults.
What Are the Early Signs of Type 2 Diabetes?Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by increased blood sugar (glucose) level. Type 2 Diabetes is caused by either insufficient insulin secretion or resistance to that hormone’s action. Insulin is produced by the pancreas and helps process the glucose in the blood. Thus, with inadequate insulin, the bodies can’t burn all the blood sugar for energy in an efficient way. This means the glucose level in the blood rises, causing a variety of symptoms and when severe may even lead to death.
What Is Type 1 Diabetes and How Do You Get It?What is type 1 diabetes? Learn the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, as well as the symptoms and treatments for type 1 diabetes.
Which is Worse - Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes?Learn about the similarities and differences between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.