How Is DME Treated?
Diabetic macular edema can be serious, but there very effective treatment options that can prevent permanent vision loss.
Frank Siringo, M.D., O.D., chief of vitreoretinal diseases and surgery at Omni Eye Specialists in Denver explains various treatment options for DME, including anti-VEGF eye injections.
There are a lot of treatments are DME. Traditionally, we would use a laser and laser tiny spots, not in the center of the macula, but very close to it. That would decrease the leakage from these damaged blood vessels. Lasering was really good at preventing worsening of vision, but it never accomplished improvement of vision.
Since 2006, when the anti-VEGF drugs started to become approved, we actually have a way of improving vision. So, these injectable anti-VEGF drugs we put into the eye on a periodic basis really can help improve vision for patients with DME. The typical treatment course is usually over 2 to 3 years. The first year, patients need an average number of 9 injections. During the second year patients receive about 5 and the third year is 0 to 2. Patients can vary, of course, and we just treat as needed for the most part. But it's anticipated that it's going to be a long treatment interval.