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Macular Edema

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Macular edema, often termed cystoid macular edema (CME), refers to swelling of the central part of the retina (the macula). When the macula experiences swelling (edema), central vision is often reduced and objects can appear smaller.

What causes CME?

Many retinal conditions can cause CME.  Diabetes is perhaps the most common and diabetic macular edema is discussed under diabetic retinopathy.  Other common causes includes retinal vein occlusions, prior surgery (especially cataract surgery), uveitis/ocular inflammation, and trauma.  Less common causes of CME include retinitis pigmentosa, ocular cancer, prior radiation, or certain medications.

What is the treatment for CME?

The treatment of CME depends on the underlying cause.  The mainstay of treatment for vascular causes of CME are intravitreal injections of Anti-VEGF medications.  Inflammatory causes of CME can be treated with topical steroids or injections of steroids in or around the eye.  Many different types of injections exist, and your physician will discuss these options with you.  

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