How exactly does the diabetic macular edema come about?
The macular edema is released through damaged micro-vessels or inflammatory processes inside the eye. If eyes have been damaged through diabetes, inflammatory mediators can be found. Blood vessel damages and injuries cause insufficient perfusion. Meanwhile, the patient’s body still produces the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This transmitter is responsible for making blood vessels more permeable. As a consequence, liquids can seep from fine capillaries at the central retina and enter the space between single cellular layers: an edema is created, through liquid deposit between retinal cells. If such an edema emerges in the macula – the most valuable part of your eye – the central retina, the point of sharpest vision, is affected.
What a macular edema does to the visual performance
As a result of macular edema, the vision of those affected worsens. Often, sensual distortions occur, also called metamorphopsies. The visual function is further limited through other factors: the visual acuity diminishes, so affected patients cannot read anymore.
Providing help: Possible therapies for diabetic macular edema
The main goal of a therapy for diabetic macular edema is to fight the edema and remove the liquid deposited at the cellular space of the retina and to restore the visual function of the macula. Patients with a visual loss due to diabetic macular edema can also be treated with modern VEGF inhibitors.
Also, the use of anti-inflammatories like cortisone can be of help in the therapy of certain DMO patients. Special cortisone-containing implants transport the active agent close to the macula in order to have the best effect.