The macula is the central part of the retina at the back of the eye. It is responsible for fine vision (reading, writing, watching television, and recognising faces). Patients with diabetes may develop macular oedema (swelling of the retina) due to leaking of fluid from blood vessels which can result in the vision becoming blurred.

Diabetic macular oedema

Diabetic eye disease is a leading cause of blindness. It is caused by changes to the tiny blood vessels of the retina (the light sensitive layer at the back of the eye). In diabetic macular oedema, blood vessels leak fluid into the retina.


People who have had diabetes for a long time–about one in three – will develop diabetic macular oedema.

  • poorly controlled blood sugars
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol levels
  • Smoking


Diabetic macula oedema may be detected during annual eye screenings. Digital photographs of the retina may show signs of early diabetic macular oedema. At an early stage, symptoms or signs may not be noticed in the vision therefore, annual eye screenings are recommended to detect it early and being treatment.


A course of three injections is recommended with each injection administered one month apart. The procedure is carried out in a clean environment using sterile technique. The eye is cleaned and local anaesthetic drops are given to numb the eye.

The eye may or may not be covered after the injection. If a pad is applied, this may be removed when you reach home.