Macular edema occurs when fluid begins to build up in the part of your eye called the macula, which causes swelling. If you have macular edema, then you might notice blurry vision that continues to get worse over time. You might also notice that colors look duller and faded or that objects might appear to be different sizes when you look out of one eye versus the other. Seeing objects that appear wavy when you are looking straight at them is another sign that you need to see your Brooklyn retina doctor. If an exam shows that you have macular edema, then your doctor can help you explore treatment options that can reverse the condition.
What Causes Macular Edema?
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of macular edema due to the changes in the vascular system that this condition causes in the eye. Some people also develop the condition following eye surgery, such as for cataracts. In this case, the swelling is usually mild, but it still requires treatment. Genetic and age-related conditions can also lead to macular edema, and certain medications could cause this condition as a side effect.
What Are the Most Common Treatments?
In Brooklyn, NY, eye specialists have several treatment options that they can suggest based upon factors that include the underlying cause of your macular edema and the severity level. For macular edema that is mild or caused by a temporary issue, such as your recovery from surgery, then eye drops containing non-steroidal anti-inflammatories might be all you need to find relief. Anti-VEGF injections are another option that are safe for diabetic macular edema. Your eye doctor might also recommend laser treatment or surgery for more severe cases.
Do Lifestyle Changes Help Reduce Macular Edema?
The blood vessels in your eyes are more prone to leakage when you have certain health conditions that place strain on your body’s vascular system. Since diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of macular edema, making sure to keep your diabetes controlled can help your other treatments to work better. You can also choose to make other healthy lifestyle changes to increase the effectiveness of your treatments. Exercising, eating right and avoiding smoking are all great habits that benefit your eyes.
How Long Do Treatments Take to Start Working?
Macular edema treatments can take some time to work. The process of recovering from this condition can take a few weeks or months, but you should begin to notice improvements soon after you begin intravitreal injections or laser treatments. Making sure to follow your treatment plan and any after care instructions helps you recover your vision faster.
Some of the symptoms of macular edema are similar to those caused by other eye health conditions. Your eye doctor can use a simple dilated eye exam to perform tests that include optical coherence tomography that use images of your eye to allow them to detect swelling or leakage from your blood vessels. After getting a clear diagnosis, they’ll be able to recommend a treatment that helps you recover your vision.