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Diabetic Macular Edema: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

People with diabetes management planned for themselves also suffer from diabetes macular edema which leads to the biggest cause of vision loss. In order to protect your vision and maintain good eye health, it is first important to know about this eye related problem along with maintaining normal sugar levels.

What is Diabetic Macular Edema?
Diabetic macular edema is the leading cause of irreversible blindness among people with diabetes. Also known as diabetic retinopathy, this illness involves damage to the small blood vessels of the eye’s retina. When the fluid from these damaged blood vessels leaks into the macula, an area in the center of the retina helping with our vision, it causes swelling.

Causes and Symptoms of Diabetic Macular Edema
Consistently high blood sugar levels weaken the blood vessels in your eyes. This can lead to the blood vessels leaking into the retina. Due to uncontrolled blood sugar levels, when the fluid seeps into your retina, it can cause diabetic macular edema. This leakage leads to swelling in the retina, which hampers the function of your macula.

Diabetic Macular Edema Symptoms

Diabetic retinopathy symptoms as they are alternatively called, are not evident, some visible signs of the retinopathy include:

  • Blurry and wavy images.
  • Colours that look washed out.

It is important to see your doctor immediately when you experience these symptoms.

Monitoring and Diagnosing Diabetic Macular Edema or Diabetes Retinopathy

With advancements in technology, there is no longer a manual need to depict swelling in eyes. Recently, a non-invasive test called the optical coherence tomography, can measure the thickness of the retina using the light. This helps identify whether someone needs to be treated for DME or whether the ongoing treatment is working or not.

It is important to diagnose DME in advance or during the earlier stages as waiting too long can badly impact your sight. This involves certain questions that your doctor asks:

  • Have you noticed changes in your vision? If so, what kind?
  • Have you been diagnosed with diabetes? If so, when?
  • Does anyone in your family have it?
  • How have your blood sugar and A1c levels been lately?
  • Do you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol?
  • Do you have any other medical conditions?

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment and Prevention

Lower your Hemoglobin A1C levels which helps slow down the advancements of diabetic macular edema and protect your vision.

Eye treatments like the previous laser treatments, which seal off capillaries to stop leakage. Now, eye injections are better able to protect blood vessel growth and leakage.

Having Diabetic Macular Edema should involve mainly the sugar test to see the balance of blood sugar levels using a glucometer which syncs with the diabetes management app. The sugar in blood will decide the severity of this progressive disease of the eyes. This will not only be able to control the progression of the disease but also prevent the damage it causes. Normal sugar levels also have various other benefits like better diabetes management.

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