Understand how Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) and Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) can impact vision.
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Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in people 20 to 74 years of age in the United States.1 DR is the most common eye problem caused by diabetes, and DME is a complication of DR.2 Both are serious conditions that can cause vision problems.2
DR happens when too much blood sugar (glucose) damages the blood vessels in the retina 2 As a result:
DME is a complication of DR. In DME, the macula swells with fluid leaked from the damaged blood vessels.2
If you have diabetes, a dilated eye exam can detect changes in your vision. Don't wait. Be sure to get a dilated eye exam at least once a year.2 Also be sure to follow up with your eye doctor on a regular basis.2
DME and DR in DME may lead to vision loss.2 However, you can take important steps to help your vision.2
Your eye care team can help you manage your eye health and treat your eye condition. Your loved ones are there to support you, too. Talk with them so they know how to best help you manage living with diabetes and your eye condition.
At first, you may have no symptoms of DME or DR in DME.2 When symptoms appear, they may affect your ability to read, write, drive, and recognize faces.2 And, over time, both conditions may lead to vision loss.2
Learn more about the common symptoms of DME and DR in DME by seeing life through In My Eyes. DME and DR in DME is a disease that can get worse, so taking action can make a difference. Share the app with your loved ones to help them better understand what you may be experiencing.
Your doctor may use the following tests to diagnose and monitor your condition and check your treatment progress:
Measures how well you see the letters on an eye chart from a distance.
Your doctor puts drops into your eye to dilate (widen) the pupil . He or she can then see the back of the eye, including the retina, for signs of problems or changes.
A special camera takes photos showing the inside of the back of the eye.
Dye is used to show the blood vessels in the back of the eye.
An imaging test that shows the layers and thickness of the retina.
Because DME or DR with DME can get worse, it is important that you check your vision in between eye appointments.6 The Amsler Grid is a simple eye test you can do on your own at home every day.6
Follow the directions below to download your Amsler Grid. If you see any problem areas while you're giving yourself the test, mark them with a pencil on the Amsler Grid. If your vision is getting worse, contact your eye care team right away!
You or your loved ones can use the slider below to get an idea of what DME or DR with DME can do to your vision.
With DME or DR in DME, it's vital to keep your appointments and stay on course with your doctor's recommended treatment plan.2
Download these tips