Macular edema is the condition when the fluid and proteins start collecting on or under the macula of the eye thereby resulting in swelling. Due to such swelling, a person’s central eye vision gets distorted. Macular edema is classified into two types namely cystoids macular edema (CME) and diabetic macular edema (DME).
Diabetic macular edema is the major reason for loss of vision in patients suffering from diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes patient are reported to have a 10% risk of developing this condition during their lifetime. On the basis of the cause of disease, DME is classified into two types:
- Diffuse macular edema: due to abnormalities in dilated capillaries present in the retina.
- Focal macular edema: due to abnormalities in microaneurysms
For diagnosing diabetic macular edema, an ophthalmologist checks the retina for symptoms of the disease including leaking blood vessel, retinal swelling, damaged nerve tissues and pale, fatty deposits on the retina. For further confirmation, comprehensive eye examination such as visual acuity test, dilated exam test and tonometry are performed.
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During the initial stages of DME, no treatment is needed unless the patients efficiently control their blood sugar levels. If the condition becomes severe, the standard treatment for diabetic macular edema is laser photocoagulation. This procedure utilizes laser to reduce edema byapplying a pattern of burnsor bycauterizing leaky blood vessels. For avoiding the side-effects of this treatment, retinal specialists apply injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factorcorticosteroids along with laser photocoagulation. Currently, there are only two approved drugs available in market for treating DME namely Lucentis and Ozurdex. Other treatment methods are currently under clinical trials.
The markets for America and Europe are at the maturity stage for diabetic macular edema because large proportion of population is suffering from diabetes. Lucentis and Ozurdex ocuppy the major part of the market share in the therapeutics market. Asia-Pacific is also growing at faster pace while the markets of Africa and Australia are currently at initial stages.
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Some of the companies and institutes which are involved in clinical trials for treatment of diabetic macular edema are Allergan, Inc., Novartis AG, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Pfizer, Inc.,Bayer AG, Bausch & Lomb Incorporated,the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network, The National Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University and ShahidBeheshti University of Medical Sciences.
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