FAQs on Diabetic Macular Edema

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If you suffer from diabetes, you need to keep your blood sugar levels under control. High blood sugar can lead to a host of other problems, including eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma.  Diabetic macular edema is one of the most serious eye conditions. This condition occurs when the blood vessels in the eye leak fluids, causing the macula (the centre of the retina) to swell. If left untreated, it can lead to loss of vision. As a reputed
eye hospital in West Bengal, we have curated some FAQs and their answers on diabetic macular edema that you might find useful:

Question: 1 What is diabetic macular edema?

Diabetic macular edema is one of the leading causes of vision loss in diabetic people. It is a diabetes complication caused by the accumulation of fluid in the macula of the eye, which is a small area near the centre of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye and the macula is responsible for the sharp vision. When fluid builds up in the macula, it causes the area to swell, which can distort vision. 

Question: 2 How does diabetes lead to macular edema?

When blood sugar levels are high, it can cause damage to the blood vessels in the eyes. This can lead to a condition called diabetic retinopathy, in which the vessels leak. This can cause the retina to swell, resulting in reduced vision. In severe cases, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness. 

When fluid seeps into the retina, it can cause diabetic macular edema. The leaking makes the retina swell, affecting the vision. 

Question: 3 What can cause macular edema besides diabetes?

Some causes of macular edema include :

    • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): It is a leading cause of vision loss in older adults. In a certain type of AMD,, abnormal blood vessels in the macula leak fluid into the retina causing swelling in the macula.
    • Retinitis pigmentosa (RP): It is a genetic disease that also causes swelling in the macula.
    • Uveitis: It is inflammation in the eye that happens when the immune system attacks the tissue of the eye.
    • Blocked veins in the retina: It can cause leakage into the macula and subsequent swelling.
    • Eye surgery: People who had surgery to treat another eye condition including cataracts, may also be at risk for developing macular edema.


  • Certain medicines: Some medicines, like medicines to treat glaucoma, can cause macular edema as a side effect.

Question: 4 Are diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema same?

Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema are diabetic-related vision conditions but the two are different. Here are some differences between those two:

  • Diabetic retinopathy: Diabetic retinopathy occurs when diabetes damages the retina. It is a progressive condition that typically affects both eyes and it can eventually lead to blindness. If you have diabetes, it’s important to monitor your eye health care and see an ophthalmologist regularly to catch any signs of retinopathy early.
  • Diabetic macular edema: Diabetic macular edema is a complication of diabetic retinopathy that affects the macula.   It occurs when the macula swells. This can lead to blurred vision. While there is no cure for diabetic macular edema , early diagnosis and treatment can help slow its progression and prevent loss of vision. 

Question: 5 How do you know if you have diabetic macular edema?

Diabetic macular edema can cause symptoms such as:

  • Double vision
  • Blurry or wavy vision
  • Floaters and blind spots
  • Faded, less vibrant colours
  • Partial or total vision loss

Question: 6 How do you get rid of diabetic macular edema?

diabetic macular edema can be effectively treated with anti-VEGF injections. These injections work by stopping the activity of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein that promotes the growth of blood vessels. By reducing leakage from damaged blood vessels and slowing the progression of diabetic macular edema, anti-VEGF injections can help preserve vision.

Question: 7 How long does it take to cure macular edema?

It takes approximately one to four months to  treat diabetic macular edema. The duration of treatment may vary depending on the severity of the condition. 

Question: 8 Can you have macular edema without retinopathy?

No, you cannot have diabetic macular edema diabetic retinopathy. 

Question: 9 Which is the best eye hospital for diabetic retinopathy treatment?

If you are looking for a reputed eye hospital in West Bengal, visit Disha Eye Hospitals. We have retinal specialists who can help diagnose and treat various diseases such as retinal tears, diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment. In addition to treatment for retinal diseases, we offer treatment for various eye problems such as glaucoma , cataracts , and corneal diseases. If you are experiencing any eye-related problems, book an online consultation or call us to book an appointment at your nearest branch

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