Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a condition caused by diabetes that can lead to distorted vision or vision loss. When you have DME, damage in your eye due to diabetes can cause the growth of new blood vessels. These blood vessels leak fluid into the part of the eye called the macula.
The macula is responsible for central vision, which is what you use to do things like drive or read. Fluid buildup causes swelling in the macula, which distorts your vision.
Inside an eye with DME
The effects of fluid
Even before you notice vision problems, fluid buildup may be causing damage to your eye. This fluid may lead to distorted vision.
Your doctor may use a scan called an optical coherence tomography (OCT) at every appointment to monitor your eyes. An OCT scan reveals a detailed picture of your retina, so your doctor can see if there is fluid in the back of your eye. Over time, your doctor will track your treatment progress to see if there is more, less, or the same amount of fluid.
Who’s at risk for developing DME?
Certain factors have been found to put people at greater risk for developing DME, such as:
Living with diabetes for a number of years
High blood sugar over a long period of time
High blood pressure and cholesterol
How can DME change your vision?
DME can cause vision changes that may impact your everyday life, such as difficulty reading, driving, and recognizing faces.
Click the tabs to explore the different types of vision changes. Drag the slider to see the varying symptoms.