Q:

What could cause macular edema?

A:

Quick Answer

Macular edema often occurs after cataract surgery but has many other causes, including retinal vein occlusion and diabetes, notes the Kellogg Eye Center. At least one percent of cataract extraction patients develop macular edema after surgery.

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Full Answer

Macular edema is characterized by retinal swelling (edema) caused by cyst-like areas of fluid in the central retina, also known as the macula, according to the Kellogg Eye Center. The swollen macula causes blurred vision, notes the National Eye Institute.

As a result, blurred or decreased central vision is the primary symptom of macular edema. The condition has no effect on side vision. However, patients experiencing this symptom need to visit a doctor for diagnosis as this symptom can be caused by other conditions, reports the Kellogg Eye Center.

Treatment for macular edema depends on the cause of the condition. Common treatments include anti-inflammatory eye drops and diuretic drugs. Laser surgery and vitrectomy can also be used to treat macular edema, states the Kellogg Eye Center. Laser surgery helps to slow leakage of fluid into the retina, writes the National Eye Institute. Vitrectomy is used to treat the condition when the cause is vitreous gel pulling on the back of the macula, according to the Kellogg Eye Center.

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