Diabetic Macular Edema
Damage to the small blood vessels in the retina is a common complication of diabetes. According to the National Eye Institute, of the 7.7 million Americans who have diabetic retinopathy, almost 10% have diabetic macular edema, which could result to irreversible blindness if left untreated.
Diabetic macular edema is most noticeable when it has already advanced to cause significant visual impairment. Because of the silent nature of the disease, it is critical to undergo regular, comprehensive eye exams to save the remaining vision and stop further vision loss.
At Focus Eye Care & Surgery, our board-certified New York eye specialist, Dr. Neelofar Ghaznawi, uses state-of-the-art equipment to perform comprehensive eye exams. The result is accurate diagnosis used to develop a personalized treatment plan with you that best suits your goals and needs. Dr. Ghaznawi is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
What is diabetic macular edema (DME)?
Macular edema is the buildup of fluid (edema) in the macula, the part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision.
Diabetic macular edema is a serious complication of diabetic retinopathy. Blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eyes, are damaged due to uncontrolled high blood sugar levels.
What are the symptoms of DME?
Early signs of DME are not noticeable, especially if only one eye is affected. Over time, swelling of the surrounding retinal tissues results in:
- blurred vision
- colors looking washed out
- wavy vision near the center of the visual field
Without treatment, DME can cause detachment of the retina or permanent blindness.
Who is at risk of developing DME?
People with diabetic retinopathy (DR) have an increased risk of developing DME. Because most people with diabetes experience DR to some degree, it is critical to control diabetes before it causes complications affecting vision.