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Macular Edema

Macula retina scan

The macula is the most important part of the retina and it is responsible for your central vision. Macular edema occurs when the retina’s ability to absorb fluid is overwhelmed by the fluid leaking into it. In the retina, blisters of fluid can form and swell the retina—this is macular edema. Macular edema by itself is not a disease but occurs as a side effect of various eye conditions, systemic diseases or medications. It is most often seen in patients with diabetes, macular degeneration or blood vessel diseases.

What are the Symptoms of Macular Edema?

The more widespread, thicker and severe the swelling becomes, the more likely you will notice symptoms like:

What are the Types of Macular Edema?

Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) is a complication of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes damages blood vessels causing them to leak fluid into the retina. The accumulation of fluid in the central retina is called macular edema and this can decrease your vision.

Cystoid Macular Edema (CME) CME occurs when the fluid accumulating in the macula is in a cyst-like pattern. This condition can be seen after eye surgery and in certain eye diseases like retinal vein occlusions.

Normal Retina
Normal Retina
Nonproliferative Retinopathy
Nonproliferative Retinopathy
Proliferative Retinopathy
Proliferative Retinopathy

How is Macular Edema Treated?

Treatment for macular edema depends on the cause. If it is secondary to systemic diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure then the first step is to make sure that the disease is being managed by a primary care physician. There are various treatment options depending on the cause for macular edema including injections, eye drops, laser or surgery. Your retina specialist will recommend the best treatment option for you depending on your findings.

Intravitreal injections (IVI)

IVI is an office procedure performed under topical anesthesia in which medication is placed inside the eye. IVI with anti-VEGF medications is performed by our trained retina specialists with meticulous monitoring of treatment efficacy and detection of rare but potentially serious complications. IVI is considered one of the most commonly performed medical procedures today. Due to their excellent results in improving vision, anti-VEGF injections are often the first-line treatment for many conditions that cause macular edema.


Lasers can also be used to address macular edema in certain instances. Your retina specialist will be able to determine if you are a candidate for this office-based procedure after examining your eyes and performing imaging studies.

Eye drops

Eye drops are most often used to treat macular edema that is a result of inflammation in the eye. This type of macular edema is most commonly seen after eye surgery or in patients with intraocular inflammatory eye disease.


Surgery is used to treat macular edema that results from scar tissue forming on top of the retina. In some patients, a fibrotic membrane will grow on top of the retina or pull on the retina causing it to swell. Your retina specialist will be able to determine if this is the cause of your macular edema by performing a dilated eye examination and taking scans of the eye.

Schedule an appointment with our Houston retina specialist to see if treatment is right for you.


The Mann Eye Institute is a leading eye care facility with seventeen locations in Humble, West Humble, Houston, Central Austin, North Austin, Sugar Land, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands Market Street, Livingston, Bay City, Pearland, Baytown, Tomball and Cleveland, Texas. With various locations in the Houston and Austin areas we can provide the full continuum of care, including; designer eyewear and eye care needs, LASIK eye surgery, cataract surgery, premium lens implants and dry eye treatment options. If you are seeking expert eye doctors in Texas contact us today!

Copperfield Office
6860 Highway 6 North, Ste. A
Houston, TX 77084
(281) 500-9605

Houston Fannin Office
5115 Fannin St., 10th Floor, Ste 1000
Houston, TX 77004
(713) 580-2500

The Woodlands Office
1501 Lake Robbins Dr. Ste. 130
The Woodlands, TX 77380
(281) 367-2010

Pearland Office
10223 Broadway St., Ste. J
Pearland, TX 77584
(281) 971-9332

Spring Office
2616 FM 2920 Ste. I
Spring, TX 77388
(281) 353-8300

Tomball Office
14079 FM 2920
Tomball, TX 77377
(346) 701-4029

Katy Office
750 Westgreen Blvd.
Katy, TX 77450
(281) 392-3937

Humble - Deerbrook Office
9802 FM 1960 W, Ste. 110
Humble, Texas 77338
(281) 446-9333

Sugar Land Office
6424 E. Riverpark Dr.
Sugar Land, TX 77479
(713) 580-2525

Humble - S. Memorial Office
18850 S. Memorial Blvd.
Humble, TX 77338
(281) 446-7900

Livingston Office
1601 US-59 Loop North, Ste. 100
Livingston, Texas 77351
(936) 327-3937

Cleveland Office
429 West Southline
Cleveland, TX 77327
(281) 592-4343

Bay City Office
3612 Avenue F
Bay City, TX 77414
(979) 244-1450

Baytown Office
4750 East Freeway
Baytown, TX 77521
(281) 421-2020

South Austin Office
2600 Via Fortuna, Ste. 400
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 327-4123

North Austin Office
4314 W. Braker Lane Ste. 215
Austin, TX 78759
(512) 200-3937

Sun City Office
1530 Sun City Blvd., Ste. 150
Georgetown, TX 78633
(512) 327-3792

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