Managing diabetic macular edema: Choices in treatment and lifestyle adjustments

Health experts offer insights into the various solutions, medical treatments, therapies and lifestyle modifications available to manage diabetic macular edema

Published on Jan 04, 2024 07:00 AM IST 5 Photos

In navigating the complex terrain of addressing Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), the confluence of medical treatments, therapeutic interventions and lifestyle adjustments plays a significant role in shaping a patient's journey toward visual well-being. In an interview with Zarafshan Shiraz of HT Lifestyle, Dr Satish Gooty Agraharam, Managing Director and Retina Surgeon at Anand Eye Institute in Hyderabad's Habsiguda, shared, “Our objective is to blend advanced medical therapies addressing the root causes of DME with personalized lifestyle changes to promote overall health. A cornerstone of effective DME management is patient education, and we emphasize the importance of a holistic approach that acknowledges the multifaceted nature of this condition.” (Shutterstock)

Dr. Satish Gooty Agraharam revealed, “In addition to our various treatments, administered as intra-vitreal injections and customised to suit the specific needs of each patient, we stress the critical importance of tight control of diabetes in tandem with DME management. Regular check-ups are integral to monitoring progress, adjusting treatment plans as needed, and ensuring that any emerging issues are addressed promptly. Informed decision-making is the bedrock upon which successful outcomes are built and we strive to empower our patients with the knowledge they need to actively participate in their care. Managing DME is akin to leading a symphony, with each element representing a unique aspect of treatment. We believe that by integrating advanced medical therapies, we create a comprehensive and tailored approach to halt the progression of DME and foster a healthy environment for the eyes.”(Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay )

Bringing her expertise to the same, Dr Vasumathy Vedantham, MS, DNB, FRCS, FIAMS, Vitreoretinal Surgeon and Medical Director at Radhatri Nethralaya in Chennai, said, “Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a silent thief of sight that affects nearly 7% of people with diabetes, causing fluid build-up in the central region of the retina responsible for sharp vision. In the journey of managing Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), we embrace a holistic perspective that transcends the clinical domain, recognising that choices in treatment and lifestyle adjustments are pivotal chapters in a comprehensive narrative of healing." (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

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She advised, “Nutrition, exercise, stress management, and regular eye care are not merely recommendations; they are integral facets of empowering patients to actively participate in their well-being. Some battles with DME are tougher than others. Persistent fluid buildup, age-related complications, and individual responses to treatments can necessitate adjustments. Through patient education, we empower individuals to navigate these challenges, fostering a proactive mindset that extends beyond the clinic and integrates seamlessly into their daily lives. It is a journey that goes beyond the clinical encounter, inviting patients to embrace not only the promise of visual recovery but a life imbued with vitality, balance, and resilience.” (Shutterstock)

Dr Chaitra Jayadev, Head - Vitreo Retina at Narayana Nethralaya in Bangalore, concluded, “Diabetes is a common lifestyle disease that can impact various organs in your body, including your eye health. Close to 77 million are affected in our country, which is expected to double by 2045. Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a vision-threatening complication of diabetes and affects up to 7-8% of individuals with diabetes. If left undetected and untreated, it can lead to irreversible vision loss. The younger the onset of diabetes, the higher the risk of developing DME. Those affected have difficulty near work, perceiving color and driving. Treatment primarily involves injections that reduce the edema or swelling, thereby improving the vision. Good control of sugars, periodic follow-up as advised by the retinologist, and timely treatment will go a long way in preserving your good vision.” (Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich)

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