Macular Edema in Washington, DC
Macular edema is an eye condition characterized by swelling in the macula, the central part of the retina. It’s a condition most commonly caused by diabetes.
What is the Macula?
The macula is near the center of the retina, the area responsible for sensing light. The macula is responsible for sharp, detailed focus.
What Happens When You Have Macular Edema?
When you have macular edema, it means there is swelling around the macula, which can cause:
- Blurred vision
- Wavy vision
- Washed out colors
- Difficulty reading
How Diabetes Can Lead to Macular Edema
High blood sugar levels in blood from diabetes can cause fluid to leak into the macula, causing macular edema.
Other Causes of Macular Edema
In addition to diabetes, other conditions can cause macular edema, including:
- Age-related macular degeneration or AMD, causing abnormal blood vessels to form and leak fluid
- Macular pucker with vitreomacular traction, caused by vitreous fluid being partially attached to the macula
- Retinal vein occlusion, or blocked veins in the retina, which cause blood and fluid to leak into the macula
- Hereditary conditions and inflammatory eye disease can also cause macular edema
- Some medications, eye tumors, and eye surgery can also lead to macular edema
How Your Eye Doctor Can Treat Macular Edema
Treatment for macular edema depends on the underlying cause, and can include:
- Medication injections, known as anti-VEGF drugs, which reduce abnormal blood vessels and blood vessel leakage
- Steroid treatment, to reduce inflammation which can cause macular edema
- Eye-drop medication, to reduce cysts which may occur after cataract surgery
- Laser therapy, to seal off leaking blood vessels
- Surgery to remove the vitreous fluid and restore the flat shape of the macula