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Macular Edema

Retina Eye Specialists

Raghu C Murthy, MD

Ophthalmology & Retina Specialist located in South Pasadena, CA

If you notice changes in your vision, macular edema could be to blame. Treating this condition is an area of specialty for Raghu Murthy, MD, FACS, and the team at Retina Eye Specialists in South Pasadena, California. To book a comprehensive eye exam and explore treatment options for macular edema or other eye conditions, call the office today, or try the easy online booking tool.

Macular Edema Q & A

What is macular edema?

Macular edema is characterized by a buildup of fluid in the macula, which is the central area of the retina. Your retina is located in the rear portion of your eye, and it holds a layer of cells that gather light and convert it into signals that your brain can process into vision. The macula is essential for sharp, forward-focused vision. 

What are the causes of macular edema?

Any condition that damages the blood vessels that nourish the eye and causes fluid to accumulate in the macula contributes to macular edema. Diabetic retinopathy is a common cause, which is why it’s so important for people with diabetes to come in for routine diabetic eye exams. 

Macular edema can also occur after eye surgery or as a result of age-related macular degeneration. Even certain inflammatory diseases can cause fluid to accumulate in the macula. 

Dr. Murthy uses several diagnostic approaches to determine if macular edema is present. Some of those diagnostic tools include:

  • Visual acuity test
  • Fluorescein angiogram
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Dilated eye exam 
  • Amsler grid

Once he determines if macular edema is present, Dr. Murthy discusses all available treatment paths. 

What are some treatment options for macular edema?

Your treatment path depends on the type of macular edema you have and the severity of the condition. The primary approach is to treat any underlying condition that is causing macular edema. 

Intravitreal injections are a good option for treating macular edema. This approach involves injecting medications directly into the vitreous gel within the eye. These medications slow abnormal vascular growth in the area by blocking vascular endothelial growth factor, a substance that promotes blood vessel development.

Corticosteroid treatments are another option for treating macular edema. These drugs have anti-inflammatory properties, reducing swelling within the eye. Corticosteroids can be administered via pills, injections, or eye drops, and many are formulated to release medication over a period of time. 

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce the risk of macular edema when administered before or after eye surgery. These medications come in the form of eye drops, and help avoid the side effects associated with steroid treatments. 

Dr. Murthy discusses the pros and cons of each treatment option prior to determining the right path for your specific eye health needs. You and he work in partnership to create the right treatment plan. 

Begin the process today by booking a visit online or over the phone.