El Centro Diabetic Macular Edema Treatment

Diabetic macular edema is a swelling of the macula, or the central portion of the retina that controls clear central vision and sharp detail. As a reaction to high levels of sugar in the blood, the tiny blood vessels in the retina can lose their ability to control the passage of substances between the blood and retina. The blood vessels can leak fluid into the macula, or the area where the focusing occurs. As the macula thickens and swells, vision loss and even blindness can occur.

Catching signs of diabetic macular edema early and starting treatment are essential to preventing vision loss and blindness. The El Centro diabetic macular edema treatment team at California Retina Associates is particularly experienced and knowledgeable about this complication. We do our absolute best to limit its effects on our patients’ vision and quality of life.

Laser Therapy

Laser eye surgery helps many of our patients with diabetic macular edema avoid blindness. Treatments like scatter photocoagulation and focal photocoagulation can be very successful because the heat from the laser seals off the leaking blood vessels and can help prevent the growth of new, abnormal blood vessels. In focal photocoagulation, we aim a laser at the leaking blood vessels to seal them off, which can reduce swelling. In scatter photocoagulation, we create hundreds of burns on the retina to seal the blood vessels and prevent them from growing.

Laser therapy is normally used in cases where the bleeding has not progressed very far. When a lot of blood has leaked into the eye, laser therapy may no longer be useful.

Intravitreal Injections

Special medications can be injected directly into the eye to slow or stop the progression of macular edema. These medications, known as anti-VEGF drugs, inhibit a chemical called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that tells the body to produce new blood vessels. This blocks the activity of VEGF and prevents the blood vessels from leaking into the retina and macula.

Intravitreal injections are virtually painless and can be performed in an office setting. Usually a series of injections is recommended.


In cases where a lot of blood has leaked into the eye, vitrectomy may be needed to remove the blood. During vitrectomy, the entire vitreous humor, or the clear jelly-like substance that fills the center of the eye is removed, along with blood and scar tissue. It is then replaced with a salt solution or a gas bubble.

Diabetic Macular Edema Treatment Mexicali, Calexico, Yuma, AZ

If you have been diagnosed with diabetic macular edema in El Centro, you shouldn’t have to travel far to San Diego or Yuma to find quality care. California Retina Associates has an office location conveniently located in the heart of El Centro to handle macular edema, other complications of diabetes and a wide range of other problems affecting the retina.

We are conveniently located down the street from Southwest High School and El Centro Regional Medical Center and serve the entire surrounding area, including the following communities:

  • Brawley
  • Plaster City
  • Glamis
  • Calexico
  • Mexicali
  • Yuma, AZ

For more information about diabetic macular edema treatment, we invite you to contact our practice at your convenience by calling 760.352.7755 or sending us an email.