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Help Take Control
of Your DME

If you’re living with Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), there’s a lot you can do right now to help protect against vision loss. Hear about DME from the experts, review treatment options, understand who can develop the disease, and learn how it is diagnosed and monitored.

What is DME?

DME is caused by blood vessels leaking fluid into a part of the eye called the macula, which is responsible for sharp central vision and seeing fine detail. This can lead to vision loss and, in some cases, blindness. DME can occur as a part of Diabetic Retinopathy, an eye disease caused by chronically high levels of blood sugar from prolonged diabetes.

Review Treatment Options

The most common treatment options are anti-VEGF medicines, laser therapy, and steroids.

Anti-VEGF Medicines

DME is associated with abnormally high levels of a naturally occurring protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which may cause the eye to form leaky blood vessels that lead to vision loss. Anti-VEGF medicines are injected into the eye to bind to the VEGF protein and keep these blood vessels from leaking fluid.

Laser Therapy

Laser photocoagulation is a common treatment for DME that uses a beam of high-energy light to seal off or destroy leaking vessels and reduce the swelling that may be causing vision loss.


Steroids are usually delivered by injection into the eye in order to reduce swelling and inflammation in the retina.

Who Can Develop DME?

You are more likely to develop DME if you:

  • Have diabetes, especially if you have been living with it for over 10 years
  • Are Hispanic, American Indian or non-Hispanic African American
  • Have a history of smoking
  • Have high A1C levels
  • Have high cholesterol
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have Diabetic Retinopathy
A woman who has Diabetic Macular Edema.

When I was diagnosed with DME, I didn’t know all the right questions to ask. I encourage anyone who is recently diagnosed to continue those regular appointments, follow instructions and ask questions. Whatever it takes. Take the time. Invest in yourself.

Shirley T. | Living with DME

How is DME Diagnosed and Monitored?

Doctors can diagnose and monitor DME using
a variety of different tests. One of the most
commonly used methods is a dilated eye
exam. Learn more by watching this video.

prep for your eye appointment

Find The Way Forward

Receiving a DME diagnosis can be scary and overwhelming. This brochure can help you assess your options, start a conversation with your eye health team, and find a way forward.