With diabetic macular edema (DME), excess fluid builds up in the macula of the eye, causing vision changes. The macula is in the center of the retina, the back part of the eye that enables you to focus and see details. When fluid builds there, it can lead to loss of vision and, if left untreated, blindness.
It all starts when chronic high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) and subsequent inflammation damages blood vessels in the retina, a condition called retinopathy. As these damaged vessels start to leak, DME can develop.
If you have diabetes and are experiencing vision loss or changes like blurry, wavy, or double vision, you may have DME.
Fortunately, DME can be effectively treated and managed. The key is early diagnosis, along with regular monitoring by an eye doctor.
Anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes is at risk for diabetic macular edema (DME). You are at a higher risk of DME if you have high blood sugar, kidney problems, sleep apnea, abnormal blood lipid levels, or if you are obese.