Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)
& Your Eyes

How Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) Affects Your Eyes

Your retina helps you see fine detail clearly. With DME, the retina becomes swollen, which causes vision to become blurry and washed out. In people with diabetes, this can happen when high blood sugar levels damage blood vessels in the retina.

Healthy Retina A healthy retina helps you see fine detail clearly. A small indented area near the center of the retina is normal.

Retina with DMEIn an eye with DME, fluid from damaged blood vessels collects in an area of the retina called the macula, causing swelling. With a swollen retina, it can be hard to see fine details.

You May Have DME and Not Know It

In its early stages, DME often doesn’t show any warning signs. But detecting DME early is the best way to prevent vision loss. If left untreated, your DME could get worse. And it could cause changes to your vision, possibly leading to vision loss. That’s why it’s so important to get a retina eye exam.

If You Have These Vision Changes, You May Have DME

Small patches
of vision loss
Colors seem to be
washed out or changed
Straight lines look
bent or warped


is the leading
cause of
in Americans
aged 20 to 74,
to the
for Disease
Control and