Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)

What is DME? Diabetic macular edema is a complication of diabetic retinopathy resulting from fluid leaking from the damaged vessels. It is the most common cause of loss of vision in those with diabetic retinopathy. DME is characterized by thickening of the macula and formation of yellow exudates.

Other causes of DME include:

  • Eye surgery
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Retinal vein occlusion
  • Inflammatory conditions affecting the retina, such as uveitis, CMV, sarcoidosis, Behçet’s syndrome, and toxoplasmosis.

What are the symptoms of DME?

DME presents with the gradual blurring of the central portion of the field of vision. It may occur at any stage of diabetic retinopathy. 

How is DME treated?

The treatment of DME involves the management of risk factors such as diabetes and  hypertension, as well as direct treatment of the damaged retinal tissue. There are several modalities of treatment:

  • Intravitreal injections of Anti-VEGF agents
  • Anti-inflammatory treatments: corticosteroids, NSAIDs 
  • Vitrectomy

Source: REHAK, M., & WIEDEMANN, P. (2010). Retinal vein thrombosis: pathogenesis and management. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 8(9), 1886–1894. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1538-7836.2010.03909.x