What is Macular Edema?
Macular edema is the build-up of fluid in the macula, which is the area in the center of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye and the macula is the part of the retina responsible for sharp, straight-ahead vision. Fluid buildup causes the macula to swell and thicken, which results in distorted vision.
What Causes Macular Edema?
Macular edema occurs when there are abnormal leakage and accumulation of fluid in the macula from damaged blood vessels in the retina. It often occurs in patients with diabetic retinopathy or wet age-related macular degeneration and results in blurry or distorted vision near the center. Another form of this condition, known as cystoid macular edema, may occur in patients’ status-post eye surgeries.
How is it Treated?
Treatment is determined by the type of macular edema you have. The most effective treatment strategies first aim at the underlying cause, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and then directly treat the damage in the retina.
The current standard of care is intravitreal injection. During this painless procedure, numbing drops are applied to the eye, and a short thin needle is used to inject medication into the vitreous gel. The medication blocks the activity of a substance called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to prevent the promotion of blood vessel growth and slow the progress of macular edema.
If fluid build-up in the macula is caused by inflammatory eye disease, your ophthalmologist may administer a sustained-release corticosteroid implant (Ozurdex or Iluvien).
Request an Appointment in San Jose or Gilroy, California
If you are experiencing any issues with your vision, contact South Bay Retina today. Dr. Narain is an experienced ophthalmologist and retina specialist. If intravitreal injections are the right treatment option for you, Dr. Narain can administer them from our two locations in the South Bay. We are located in San Jose and Gilroy, California. Call (408) 294-3534 for our San Jose and Gilroy office. You can also schedule an appointment online.