Macular Edema

DEFINITION: The macular edema center is one of the most common causes of loss of vision. In the macula, liquid is accumulated in the retina. Edema takes the form of intra-retinal cysts, and this is called cystoid macular edema. When edema develops, the central vision of the patient is disrupted.

RISK FACTORS AND CAUSES: It may be related to cataract surgery, macular degeneration due to aging, uveitis, diabetes, retinal embolism, or medication toxicity. Following cataract surgey, cystoid macular edema, with a possibility of 1-3%, emerges occurs 2-4 months within 1 year.

Figure 1. Macular optical coherence tomography image of a healthy eye.

FINDINGS: It is characterized by blurred vision and reduced central vision. However, since this clinical picture is not unique to any specific disease, the ophthalmologist should carry out an examination in detail for diagnosis.

DIAGNOSTIC TESTS: Diagnosis can be made through eye examination.  The most common diagnosis method is to examine the bottom of the eye via retinal angiography. Having come into recent use, Retinal tomography (OCT) is the method that provides the most accurate information for the diagnosis of cystoid macular edema.

Figure 2. Optical coherence tomography images of a patient who received intravitreal anti-VEGF injection for macular oedema at our hospital; prior to treatment (left), 1 month following treatment (right).

TREATMENT: For the treatment of cystoid macular edema, medications suppressing inflammation are used. These can be eye drops or intravitreal or systemic treatment depending on the clinical picture of the patient. When medical treatment is insufficient, vitrectomy can be useful although in a limited way.