Macular Edema


What is Macular Edema?
Macular edema is an abnormal collection of fluid in the macula, or central part of the retina. It is sometimes also referred to as leakage, fluid or thickening.


What are the Signs and Symptoms of Macular Edema?
The most common side effect of macular edema is blurry vision. Waviness and distortion may also be noted. In cases where the edema is adjacent to, but not involving the central vision, e.g. in many cases of diabetic edema, there may not be any symptoms at all and the edema can only be found by routine examination.


What causes Macular Edema?
There are many causes of macular edema. The most common causes are diabetes, inflammation, macular pucker and vein occlusions. One particular kind of edema called cystoid macular edema can occur after cataract surgery or from other causes of inflammation


How is Macular Edema treated?
The treatment of macular edema varies depending on the cause of the edema. In patients with edema from diabetes or from vein occlusions, laser may be performed to the areas causing the leakage. In patients with edema from inflammation, drops or steroid injections along side of the eye (Sub-Tenon’s Injections) are often effective. If the edema is severe enough, injections may be given directly into the eye of either a steroid (Kenalog) or of a medication that reduces the leakiness (Avastin). In some cases when other treatments have failed, or if the edema is due to macular pucker, the treatment may be surgery.


What can I expect if I have Macular Edema?
The prognosis of macular edema can vary significantly depending on the cause. In chronic diseases such as diabetes, multiple treatments are often required. Many times however in cases that are due to inflammation, macular pucker or vein occlusion, only one treatment is necessary. In most cases of non-diabetic edema, the vision can be improved with treatment. It is often difficult to improve vision in diabetics with edema; however treatment can be vital to the maintenance of the current vision.


For more information about Macular Edema, you may wish to visit/contact:

Macular Edema, Irvine-Gass


Macular Edema, Diabetic