Macular Edema

Macular edema is a condition of the retina. The retina is a layer of light-sensing cells lining the back of your eye. This condition damages a portion of the retina called the macula, which is located in the center of the retina and enables you to see fine details clearly. You rely on your macula whenever you read, drive, or do other activities that require you to focus on fine details.

Macular edema is the swelling of the macula, caused by fluid build-up. The macula contains many tiny blood vessels within it. Leaking of these blood vessels may cause macular edema. Anything that results in leaking blood vessels, such as a medical condition affecting blood vessels elsewhere in the body or an abnormal condition originating in the eye, may cause macular edema. Some causes of macular edema include: blood vessel obstruction in the retina, damage to blood vessels from diabetes, eye inflammation, and age-related macular degeneration.

Treatment seeks to remedy the underlying cause of the edema. Treatment options include eyedrops, injections of steroids or other newer medicines in or around the eye, or laser surgery. Recovery depends on the severity of the condition causing the edema. Be sure to discuss your options with your eye doctor.