Diabetic macular edema
Diabetic macular edema (DME) is caused by diabetes mellitus. DME is the most common cause of significant deterioration of vision and occurs in approximately 20% of patients affected by diabetes.
Diabetic macular edema occurs when fluid accumulates in the retinal center. If blood glucose values are chronically increased, the inner layer of retinal vessels become permeable to liquids. Proteins and fat are deposited and thus contribute to a thickening of the retina.
Additional risk factors for DME are smoking, increased blood fat or blood pressure. In diabetics, a combination of several risk factors is often present, which makes diabetes patients particularly vulnerable. There is a risk of DME in both forms of diabetes, type 1 and type 2.
How can diabetic macular edema be detected ?
Early diagnosis is crucial for an effective therapy. Therefore regular eye exams are recommended for every patient with diabetes, at least once a year.
Eye examination may include:
The most common therapy of diabetic macular edema consists of intravitreal injections: Anti-VEGF or corticosteroids are injected into the vitreous during a short operation, the eye is anesthesized by drops. These injections usually have to be applied several times. In selected cases therapy with laser or an operation (vitrectomy) may be applied. No therapeutic option is available if ischemic diabetic macular edema is present.
Adjustment of blood glucose levels and blood pressure are essential.
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