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Diabetes and the DME timeline

DME is a common complication of diabetes, so it’s important you understand how the two are related

1

Diabetes diagnosis

Once diabetes has been diagnosed, every patient must understand how diabetes and the complications of diabetes may affect their life.

2

Diabetes management

Diabetes is a chronic disease that needs consistent management. Most treatments begin with lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking, doing more exercise and improving diet, and are supplemented with medical treatments if these are unable to reduce blood glucose to safe levels. Problems with controlling blood glucose over the long term (typically within 10 years) can cause additional complications, one of which is DME.

3

DME diagnosis

A diagnosis of DME will be made by an ophthalmologist, a medical doctor specialising in vision care. This will be made on the basis of results from tests that may include a mixture of physical exams, and photographs and scans of the back of your eye. The later DME is diagnosed, the greater the chance it will be further advanced and permanently damage your vision, so it is important to seek specialist help as soon as possible.

4

DME management

There are a number of medical treatments available for managing DME, including anti-VEGF injections, steroids and laser therapies. In some cases, vitrectomy, a type of eye surgery, may be considered. Your ophthalmologist in consultation with you will decide which one is best for you.

Next steps

Understand the available treatment options

What to expect from your treatment

Key patient resources

Understand where you are and what you need to do

Use our checklists to prepare for appointments

See what most DME patients want to know about

An easy-to-understand guide to the medical terms