What is Macular Edema?
Macular edema is the swelling of the macula, which is the center part of the retina that gives us sharp reading vision. Macular edema occurs when fluid and protein deposits collect on or under the macula of the eye.
The accumulation of fluid can cause visual distortion and blurred vision. The macula is near the center of the retina at the back of the eyeball so the swelling may distort a person’s central vision. This area holds tightly packed cones that provide sharp, clear central vision to enable a person to see detail, form and color that is directly in the direction of gaze.
There are various causes for macular edema, including diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, uveitis (inflammation), age-related macular degeneration and ocular surgery. Macular edema sometimes appears for a few days or weeks after cataract surgery. Most such cases can be successfully treated with NSAID or cortisone eye drops. In 2010 the United States FDA approved the use of Lucent injections for macular edema and last year EYLEA, an intravitreal injection, was approved to treat diabetic macular edema in the United States. Most patients experience significant improvements in their vision after one or more of these treatment options.
If you have any questions about your vision or possible treatments, please contact Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or associatedretinaconsultants.com.