Macular Edema Portland, Maine

By Aaron Parnes, M.D.

Diabetic macular edema is a common diabetic eye problem that can cause blurry vision and even vision loss. Normally, the small blood vessels in the retina do not leak. One of the early effects of diabetes is to cause the blood vessels in the retina to begin to leak due to weakening the inner lining of the blood vessels so that they become porous. Leakage from the retinal blood vessels may cause the center of the retina, the Macula, to actually swell, a condition called Diabetic Macular Edema. Diabetic Macular Edema can occur in any stage of Diabetic Retinopathy.

The Macula is responsible for central vision, and thus Diabetic Macular Edema can result in vision loss of varying severity. The most effective and accurate ways to observe and diagnose Diabetic Macular Edema are to perform a careful dilated examination usually accompanied by a Fluorescein Angiogram (FA) and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). Using the Fluorescein Angiogram, it will be possible to precisely and directly observe the severity and location of “leaky” blood vessels. By using OCT, it is possible to detect very slight thickness changes in the macula that may indicate the presence of leakage. It is important that leaking blood vessels be found as early as possible so that they can be most effectively treated. Treatment with focal or grid laser photocoagulation and and/or intravitreal injections of Vascular Endothelial Growth (VEGF) Inhibitor such as Lucentis®, Avastin® or Eylea® Injections can reduce the swelling and prevent further vision loss, but may not restore vision that has already been compromised.

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The diagnosis of Diabetic Macular Edema is an indication that breakdown of the retinal blood vessels from diabetes is beginning and requires careful monitoring. In the discussion about your stage of diabetic retinopathy, we will make specific recommendations about how often you will need to return for eye examinations and the need for additional photographs, Fluorescein Angiograms or OCT scans. Please be sure to keep these appointments, as they are critical in helping you maintain your eye health and vision.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or even if you are just glucose intolerant, you may be at risk for diabetic macular edema and diabetic retinopathy, and you should have a thorough diabetic eye examination at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. Please call at 888-374-2020.

Eyecare Medical Group provides diagnosis and treatment of diabetic macular edema in Maine and is conveniently located for patients from Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine.

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