Macular Edema Treatment in Pensacola, FL
Macular edema occurs from a buildup of fluid in your eye, causing your eye's macula to swell or thicken. The swelling distorts vision and can eventually lead to vision loss if left untreated. While macular edema is not a disease itself, it is often caused by a disease like diabetes, macular degeneration and various inflammatory diseases. Depending on the severity of your condition, your healthcare provider may recommend one of several options to correct your macular edema, all of which are considered outpatient treatments. In rare cases, your healthcare provider may recommend a vitrectomy surgery if your macular edema is caused by the vitreous gel in the eye pulling on the macula.
To schedule a consultation with an eye care expert in Pensacola that specializes in macular edema treatment, call (850) 378-3843 or contact Retina Specialty Institute online.
Macular Edema Causes & Symptoms
There are many possibilities in connection to macular edema causes. The most common macular edema cause is diabetes (diabetic retinopathy). Diabetes can cause the retina to thicken, damaging the blood vessels in your retina and causing the leakage of small amounts of fluid, blood and fat deposits into your retina. The leakage is what causes your macula to swell. Effectively controlling your diabetes will make a huge difference in regard to reducing the impact that macular edema has on your eyes. Other possible macular edema causes include:
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- Uveitis or sarcoidosis (inflammation)
- Blockage of retinal veins
- The side effects of some medications
- The side effect of eye surgery
- Retinitis pigmentosa
It's not unusual for there to be an absence of macular edema symptoms until the condition has reached an advanced stage. Most commonly, a macular edema can cause items directly in front of you to appear blurry or wavy, and colors to seem dull.
Macular Edema Diagnosis
In order to properly diagnose a macular edema, your healthcare provider will conduct a thorough eye exam that includes dilating your pupils to examine your retina. Your healthcare provider may choose to run a fluorescein angiography test, which will help determine if any blood vessels in your eye are leaking and the severity of the leakage.
Another test your healthcare provider may choose to run in order to make a macular edema diagnosis is called an optical coherence tomography (OCT). This test involves a camera that photographs your retina and measures its thickness. It also detects any swelling or fluid.
Your healthcare provider will likely delve into your medical history and ask several questions about your current health status, such as whether or not you've been checked for or diagnosed with:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Noticed any recent vision changes
Macular Edema Treatment
While addressing a macular edema is important to treat the damage done to the retina and to prevent future damage, the best course of action is to begin by controlling the disease or medical condition driving the onset of the macular edema. Macular edema-specific treatment will also be dependent on the cause of your condition and may include:
- Medicinal eye injections: As the most popular macular edema treatment, intravitreal injections (anti-VEGF) block blood vessels from forming to prevent leakage in the retina.
- Corticoid steroids: If your macular edema is a result of an inflammatory condition, corticoid steroids can help reduce swelling in your retina, helping to make some visual improvements.
- Focal laser or photocoagulation treatment: In cases caused by diabetic retinopathy or other conditions that greatly impact blood vessels like retinal vein occlusion, focal laser laser treatment helps to stop blood vessel leakage and seal blood vessels by placing 5-40 laser spots in the area of the leakage.
- Vitrectomy surgery: If your vitreous is pulling on your macula, a vitrectomy is an outpatient surgical procedure that removes your eye’s vitreous gel to relieve this pulling.
With any macular edema treatment, the main goal is to stabilize vision and reduce additional vision loss. In rare cases, macular edema treatments can provide minimal vision restoration. If treatment begins promptly, additional vision loss can be reduced by up to 50 percent.
Schedule an appointment with an experienced ophthalmologist in Pensacola that specializes in macular edema treatment! Call (850) 378-3843 or contact Retina Specialty Institute online.
Retina Specialty Institute
Address5150 North Davis Hwy.
Pensacola , FL 32503