Maryanne was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at the age of forty. She knew poor vision and amputation could result from the disease, but always thought that “it could never happen to me.” So she put it out of her mind.
As the years passed, Maryanne discovered that she was not immune to vision issues. Her eyes gradually worsened, and she eventually needed cataract surgery. The operation revealed other damage, and so at the age of forty-nine, she was diagnosed with Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). Maryanne realized she could not risk being in denial any longer, so she began treatment.
Now Maryanne is able to continue going to the movies, teaching, traveling, and doing other things she loves. She also speaks publicly about her condition. She has lost enough of her vision to understand that the sight she still has is a blessing. And so now, she wants to help others see things for what they really are.
Nevada artist Arthur Bryce Chisolm developed this mixed media painting after meeting with Maryanne, who lives with diabetic macular edema (DME) and has experienced vision loss due to the disease. The work of art brings to life the things Maryanne cherishes seeing despite her condition.
Set at a particularly beloved beach in San Diego, the painting shows Maryanne’s grandchildren, who she loves spending time with and who make up an important part of her life. The painting also illustrates Maryanne’s eyes, which represent the importance of the steps she took to help protect against vision loss.
Learn about Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), how diabetes can impact your eyes, and how you can take steps to help manage eye health.
DME is a complication of Diabetic Retinopathy, an eye condition that occurs when too much blood sugar damages the blood vessels in the retina. DME happens when fluid from the damaged blood vessels leaks into the macula (the part of the retina responsible for sharp central vision).1
Risk factors for DME include 1
Common symptoms include blurred vision, blind spots or "floaters", straight lines that look crooked and vision loss.1
There are different tests for diagnosing DME. The most common test is a dilated eye exam. During the exam, a doctor puts drops into the eye to dilate the pupil. He or she can then see the back of the eye, including the retina, for signs of problems. 2
The good news is there are treatment options that may help protect against vision loss caused by DME. If you are experiencing symptoms of DME, make an appointment to speak with your eye doctor today to discuss how you can help protect your vision.
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