DIABETIC MACULAR EDEMA (DME)
Compared to healthy individuals, patients with diabetes are at higher risk of developing microvascular complications such as diabetic eye disease, a group of eye conditions that includes mainly diabetic retinopathy (DR), which often leads to diabetic macular edema (DME). Other types of eye diseases that patients with diabetes are at increased risk of include cataracts and glaucoma.1
If diabetes is not well controlled, high blood sugar can cause damage to the tiny blood vessels in the retina – the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye – which can lead to Diabetic Retinopathy (DR). When DR occurs, the retinal blood vessels can swell, leak or become blocked, or new, weaker blood vessels may form.1,2
If the damaged blood vessels then leak and cause a build-up of fluid, this can lead to a swelling in an area of the retina called the macula.1,2
When the macula swells with fluid, it causes the central vision to become blurry or distorted. This is known as DME, a common consequence of DR that is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes, increasing their risk for blindness.1,2
If you have DR, and develop DME, you may experience blurry or wavy vision, and most importantly, vision loss, which may reduce your ability to do everyday things such as reading, driving, and recognising faces. This may hinder you from doing the things you love, affect your quality of life, and potentially limit your independence.1,3
Talk to your doctor if you would like help with managing your diabetes.