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Can Macular Edema Go Away by Itself?

Macular edema is swelling or thickening of the eye’s macula, the part of your eye responsible for detailed, central vision. The macula is a very small area at the center of the retina—a thin layer of light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. Light rays are focused onto the retina, where they are transmitted to the brain and interpreted as the images you see. It is the macula that is responsible for your pinpoint vision, allowing you to read, sew or recognize a face.

Macular edema develops when blood vessels in the retina are leaking fluids. The macula does not function properly when it is swollen and may cause mild to severe vision loss.

There are many causes of macular edema. Macular edema is often a complication of diabetic retinopathy and a common form of vision loss for people with diabetes—particularly if it is left untreated.

Eye surgery, including cataract surgery, can increase your risk of developing macular edema due to blood vessels becoming irritated and leaking fluids. Macular edema that develops after cataract surgery is called cystoid macular edema (CME).

Other causes of macular edema include:

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • Uveitis
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion
  • Blockage in the small veins of the retina
  • Side effects of certain medications 
  • Certain genetic disorders, such as retinoschisis or retinitis pigmentosa

Macular edema is often painless and may display few symptoms when it develops. Symptoms of macular edema may include blurred or wavy central vision, or colors appear washed out or changed. When symptoms do occur, they are a sign that the blood vessels in your eye may be leaking.

Rarely, macular edema will go away on its own. However, if you have symptoms of macular edema, it’s important that you see an ophthalmologist right away. If left untreated, macular edema can cause severe vision loss and even blindness.

There are several treatment options available for macular edema. If you are experiencing vision problems, contact Associated Retina Consultants right away to schedule an examination with our doctors.  Call 602-242-4928 or visit website today to make an appointment.