Cystoid Macular Edema

Understanding Cystoid Macular Edema

Cystoid macular edema (CME) is an eye condition that causes fluid to build up in the macula, the area at the center of the retina responsible for central vision. CME is one of the most common causes of vision loss in those with diabetic retinopathy. It can also be seen in patients with retinal vein occlusion, inflammatory eye diseases, pseudophakic or aphakic patients, and those with retinitis pigmentosa.

While CME is painless, individuals experience decreased vision, blurry spots, trouble focusing, night blindness, and even a loss of color perception. In severe cases, blindness can occur. Treatment is typically prescribed based on the underlying cause of CME. Common treatments include anti-inflammatory medications and laser treatment.

Risk Factors of Cystoid Macular Edema

Risk factors for developing CME include diabetes, vascular occlusions, and certain eye surgeries. In addition, age is a major risk factor. People over the age of 60 are more likely to develop CME.

Diagnosing Cystoid Macular Edema

A comprehensive eye exam is recommended to diagnose CME. During the exam, the doctor will inspect the eyes for any signs of CME and also measure visual acuity and intraocular pressure. In addition, imaging technologies such as fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography (OCT) or fundus photography may be used to diagnose CME.

Treatment & Prevention of Cystoid Macular Edema

The most common treatment for CME is the use of corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. Intravitreal corticosteroids are frequently used to reduce inflammation in the center of the eye. Laser treatment may also be used to reduce fluid buildup. Surgery may be recommended in severe cases.

The best way to prevent CME is to manage underlying medical conditions such as diabetes. In addition, it is important to have regular comprehensive eye exams to detect any early signs of CME.

Complications of Cystoid Macular Edema

If left untreated, CME can lead to vision loss or even blindness. In addition, scarring and retinal detachment can also occur.


Cystoid Macular Edema (CME) is an eye condition that can lead to vision loss and even blindness if left untreated. Treatment typically includes steroid injections, laser treatments, or surgery, depending on the underlying cause. The best way to prevent CME is to manage any underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, and to have regular comprehensive eye exams.