In the early stages of diabetic macular oedema, no treatment is needed.
If treatment is required, the treatments for diabetic macular oedema are:
- Laser therapy
- Injection therapy
A laser is used to produce small burns on areas of leaking blood vessels in the macula. Usually, laser burns are applied over several sessions. The goal of laser therapy is to reduce the amount of fluid in the macula. Several sessions may be required to achieve this. The full effects of laser therapy only occur after several months. This is why you may be asked to return to clinic three or four months after laser therapy. Studies have shown that laser therapy reduces the risk of visual loss by 50%. The aim of laser therapy is to stabilise your vision. Improvement in vision only happens in a small number of cases.
This treatment involves the injection of medication into the eye. The drug works by reducing fluid leakage from blood vessels around the macula. This in turn reduces swelling of the macula. Studies have shown that this treatment is effective in preventing visual loss and can improve vision in some patients. A course of injections is required to treat diabetic macular oedema. At the start of treatment, usually one injection per month is needed. It is important to attend all appointments while receiving injection therapy. This treatment will not work if you do not have the injection at a regular interval. The length of time between injections, and how long you will need to stay on injection therapy will depend on how you respond to the treatment.