What can your Retina Specialist do for Macular Edema?

Submitted by Elman Retina Group on May 26, 2017

A the center of your retina lies the macula, an important part of your retina that enhances visual detection of images directly in front of you. For medical reasons, fluid may accumulate in the macula, causing it to swell, thicken and distort your vision.

Causes of Macular Edema

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of macular edema. Only people with diabetes can be diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, a disease destroying blood vessels behind the eyes due to high blood sugar levels. Other reasons for macular edema include uncontrolled high blood pressure, having eye surgery, development of age-related macular degeneration and inflammatory diseases affecting the eye.

Treatment Options for Macular Edema

Depending on the cause of our macular edema, your Baltimore opthalmologist may provide one or more of the following treatments:

Anti-VEGF injections

After placing numbing eye drops in your eye, your opthalmologist injects special medication into the center of your eye. This drug blocks overactivity of a chemical called vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF. In macular edema, VEGF causes rapid growth of blood vessels too fragile to function normally. Consequently, these optical blood vessels rupture, leaking blood into your macula and retina that also produces fluid buildup and swelling.

Corticosteroid Eye Drops or Injections

Steroid treatments reduce inflammation when macular edema is caused by an inflammatory eye disease. If your macular edema has progressed or is chronic, your Baltimore opthalmologist may recommend FDA-approved corticosteroid implants that offer continual release of corticosteroids.


When macular edema is accompanied by the the area between your retina and lens (vitreous gel) pulling on the macula, your opthalmologist may want to perform a vitrectomy. An outpatient-type surgery involving removal of the vitreous gel, a vitrectomy also helps improve your vision if past macular edema treatments were unsuccessful.

If you suspect macular edema is affecting your vision, call the Elman Retina Group today to schedule an appointment with a Baltimore opthalmolgist: (410) 686-3000