macular edema

This is swelling of the macula, the area of the retina that is responsible for our fine central vision.  The retina can be thought of like film in a camera. Just like film, the retina needs to be perfectly smooth and flat if we are going to “take a good picture” and see clearly.  If there is swelling at the macula, then the “film” becomes distorted in the middle and this creates blur or distortion to the central vision as well.  There are many causes of macular edema, such as leaking vessels from wet macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or traction from epiretinal membranes. Retinal edema can be detected in our office using OCT photographs to map out the retinal surface. Early retinal changes may even be detected at home using an Amsler grid.  Treatment for this condition depends upon the cause, but usually involves injections of anti-inflammatory medications (such as Kenalog or Avastin) if there is active bleeding or if the edema is not resolving.

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Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:

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