London Medical Ophthalmology

Macular Oedema Treatment

Treatment for macular oedema is essential and at London Medical, we offer a range of services that work to restore and enhance your vision. 

Macular oedema is a common eye condition that can be caused by a number of different conditions and affects nearly 1.5 million people in the UK alone. It is a progressive condition that, when left untreated, can cause major disruption to your vision. 

Treatment for macular oedema is essential and at London Medical, we offer a range of services that work to restore and enhance your vision. 

Based in the heart of London, our private eye clinic uses state-of-the-art technology to accurately diagnose and treat the symptoms and causes of macular oedema. Our friendly team will be with you every step of the way so you can receive the best support and understanding when undergoing treatment.

What is macular oedema?

Macular oedema occurs when the back tissue layer of your eye, known as the retina, swells, leading to distortion and blurring of your vision. 

The condition can be caused by many different things, but the main cause of macular oedema is when your blood vessels leak into the macula (part of your retina) and cause it to swell. 

However, with the right treatment, this swelling can be decreased and your vision can be restored. 

Types of macular oedema

There are two main types of macular oedema. Both have different causes. 

Symptoms of macular oedema

Symptoms of macular oedema might not show up right away and can take some time to develop before they disrupt your vision. However, once they do, common symptoms can include:  

  • Blurred vision
  • Objects or writing appearing unclear
  • Colours appearing faded or dull

Some people also find that having macular oedema in just one of their eyes can make it harder for them to notice any changes in their vision unless they close one eye.

How is macular oedema diagnosed?

The main way in which macular oedema is diagnosed is through a dilated eye examination. This will involve being given eye drops to widen your pupils and allow your retina to be examined by a trained ophthalmologist. 

If they suspect you may have macular oedema after checking your retina, you may be advised to have further tests, such as: 

  • Optical coherence tomography – a special machine will be used to take pictures of your retina so that the doctor can see how much swelling there is in your macular.
  • Fluorescein angiogram – a contrast dye can sometimes be injected into your arm that will travel through your bloodstream and into your eye. Images will then be taken of your eye with the dye clearly showing the blood vessels.

Macular oedema treatment options

Treating macular oedema is essential in protecting and restoring your vision. Finding the type of treatment for you will depend on two key factors — the type of macular oedema you have and how advanced your condition is. 

If you have DME, for example, managing your diabetes effectively can help prevent further vision loss and any worsening of your condition in early cases. However, sometimes, a variety of other treatment options are also needed. In more advanced cases, injection treatments are needed to help improve vision. 

If you have cystoid macular oedema due to a venous occlusion (a branch or central vein occlusion), injection treatment will be offered to reduce the oedema and improve your vision if it has become blurry.

At London Medical, we tailor our macular oedema treatments to the requirements of each patient, according to their needs and specific cases. Our caring team of leading ophthalmologists will guide you in choosing the right treatment path for you.  


Injection therapy is where medication is injected into your eye to help reduce the fluid leaking from your blood vessels into your macular. The injections can also help limit the amount of swelling. Injection therapy can be effective in preventing vision loss and enhancing your current vision too if affected by the oedema.

At the start of the treatment, you will typically have one injection per month. The length of time between your appointments will depend on how your eyes respond. During the treatment, your eyes will be numbed so that you feel as little discomfort as possible. It is important not to rub your eye after the injections to help reduce the risk of infection. You may be given lubrication drops to use in the eye after the injection to help soothe the eye. The entire procedure should take less than 10 to 15 minutes. 

We use anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injections or steroid implant injections (such as dexamethasone or fluocinolone acetonide) to treat macular oedema as they stop your blood vessels from leaking and reduce the swelling of your retina.

Eye drops

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) and steroid eye drops can sometimes be used to treat and prevent macular oedema. These are normally prescribed if the macular oedema occurs after surgery. 

Intravitreal steroid implants

At London Medical, we offer Ozurdex (dexamethasone) and Iluvien (fluocinolone acetonide) implants for some cases of macular oedema. These are a type of intravitreal steroid implant that slowly releases medication into your eye over time. The biodegradable implants can release medication for up to six months at a time and should not obstruct your vision in any way. If the Iluvien implant is used, this can last up to 12 months but is not suitable for everyone, especially if you have a condition known as glaucoma.

Intravitreal steroid implants reduce inflammation and help improve your visual acuity but can cause cataract development and raised intraocular pressure in some people. 

Laser therapy

Laser therapy is often used to effectively treat early macular oedema caused by diabetes or other conditions like retinal vein occlusion. Laser treatment is usually recommended if injections are not appropriate or haven’t worked for some reason. 

During this treatment, a laser is used to seal off leaking blood vessels in the macula area. The aim of the laser is to preserve vision and sometimes several sessions may be needed to achieve the full effect of the treatment. This treatment is usually completely painless and very quick and simple.

When should I seek treatment?

Although some people do not experience symptoms of macular oedema right away, the sooner you have treatment, the better. If you notice any changes to your vision, such as blurring or distortion, you must have your eyes checked by a professional as soon as possible. 

Treatment is most effective when the condition is caught earlier on and you may even be able to treat it with less invasive solutions, like improved diabetes control, laser treatment or in some cases, eye drops if post-operative). 

If you are experiencing problems with your vision, book an appointment with London Medical. Our expert team of ophthalmologists are always on hand to diagnose and treat any concerns you have — helping protect and restore your vision.

Our Locations

London Medical is located in the Harley Street medical area. Together with top experts across a range of multi-disciplinary fields, we offer the finest facilities for your care, all under one roof.

Opening hours
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 8pm
Sundays - 9.00am to 2.00pm
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 8pm
Sundays - 9.00am to 2.0pm
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 8pm

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