Diabetes Screening and Macular Edema Treatment Guidelines

People with Type 1 diabetes should have annual screenings for diabetic retinopathy beginning 5 years after the initial diagnosis of their disease.  Patients with Type 2 diabetes should have a prompt examination at the time of diagnosis and at least yearly examinations thereafter.

Women who develop gestational diabetes do not require an eye examination during pregnancy and do not appear to be at increased risk of developing diabetic retinopathy during pregnancy.  Nevertheless, patients with diabetes who become pregnant should be examined early in the course of the pregnancy.

Diabetes can cause fluid accumulation within the macula area of the retina, which is known as macular edema.  Intravitreal injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents have been shown to be an effective treatment for center-involving diabetic macular edema.  Laser photocoagulation remains the preferred treatment for non-center-involving diabetic macular edema.