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Macular Edema

Cystoid Macular Edema

Commonly called CME, Cystoid Macular Edema is a disorder that affects the retina which converts light rays into signals that are sent through the optic nerve to your brain where they are recognized as images. CME is the presence of multiple fluid-filled, cyst-like (cystoid) structures in the macula. The result is swelling (edema) of the macula.

CME Symptoms

The most common symptom of CME is blurred or distorted central vision. Other symptoms can include pink-tinted or dim vision or sensitivity to light. CME does not affect peripheral vision.

CME Risk Factors

Although the exact causes of CME are not known, it can be associated with:

  • Retinal Vein Occlusion (blockage of a blood vessel in your retina)
  • Uveitis (inflammation of the uvea, the outermost layer of your eye)
  • Diabetes
  • Eye Surgery
  • Eye Trauma
  • Side effects from medication

It most commonly occurs after cataract surgery. About 3 percent of all cataract surgery patients will experience decreased vision due to CME, usually within a few months after surgery. If CME occurs in one eye there is an increased risk that it will also occur in your other eye.

CME Treatment

Depending on the cause of CME, treatment may include some of the following methods:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications, including steroids eye drops, pills or injections.
  • Laser surgery to repair leaky blood vessels.
  • A surgical procedure called vitrectomy to remove a substance in the eye called the vitreous.
  • Fortunately, most patients with CME are successfully treated and vision improves, though the healing process may be slow and take up to several months.


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