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Macular Edema

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Updated August 04, 2009

Macular Edema

Macular edema

National Eye Institute / National Institutes of Health
Definition: Macular edema is swelling or fluid retention in a specialized part of the retina called the macula.

The macula is located in the back of the eye and provides us with clear, central vision. It is the part of the retina we use when we "aim" our vision to look at a target. Fluid can build up in the macula from abnormal, leaking blood vessels. When macula edema occurs, vision becomes distorted or decreased. Although macula edema can occur as a part of many other eye diseases, it is very common in diabetic retinopathy.

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