Macular Edema and Eye Exams
Consider this your yearly reminder to get a dilated eye exam. About 4 percent of middle-aged and older people with diabetes have an eye condition called diabetic macular edema, which occurs when capillaries in the retina leak and fluid pools in the macula, the eye’s vision center, causing it to thicken and swell. Left untreated, macular edema can result in vision loss or even blindness. In a nationwide survey of 1,038 people with diabetes ages 40 and older, researchers found that African Americans were at increased risk for macular edema, as were people with a longer duration of diabetes and those with uncontrolled glucose levels. There are treatments (such as laser surgery) for diabetic macular edema, so it’s very important to see an eye doctor for a screening every year.
Source: JAMA Ophthalmology, published online Aug. 14, 2014