Diabetic Macular Edema Research

Macular edema research focuses on several drug and laser therapies.

Diabetic macular edema is a serious retinal disorder that affects people with diabetes (either type 1 or type 2). Diabetic macular edema results when retinal blood vessels that are damaged due to diabetes leak fluid, causing the macula to swell and thereby resulting in blurred vision. It can occur at any stage of diabetic retinopathy. However, the likelihood of developing diabetic macular edema increases as the disease progresses. In the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), 27 percent of patients with type 1 diabetes developed macular edema within nine years of diabetes onset, while other studies indicate that in patients with type 2 diabetes, the prevalence after 20 years of diabetes may be as high as 28 percent. Consequently, there is considerable interest in developing adequate therapeutic approaches to caring for patients with diabetic macular edema.

Macular edema drug research

Our recent and ongoing macular edema drug research focuses on:

  • Studies that test efficacy and safety
  • Studies that compare macular edema drugs
  • Studies on drug dosage and macular edema drug delivery systems
  • Studies on the effects of intravitreal steroid injections, one of the standard treatments for macular edema

Laser macular edema research

Another key area of our macular edema research focuses on the use of lasers, also a standard treatment for macular edema. These macular edema research studies test laser efficacy as well as compare the safety and efficacy of laser treatments to drug therapies.

Diabetes and eye research

As a result of the international diabetes epidemic, the number of cases of diabetic macular edema, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and other associated conditions has spiked dramatically. Our department has made diabetes care a key focus of our ongoing eye research, including engaging in joint eye research efforts with the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR.net), a collaborative research network funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute. All Henry Ford Department of Ophthalmology retinal specialists belong to this multicenter network, which supports clinical research focusing on all diabetes-induced retinal disorders.

Advanced treatment for diabetic macular edema

Henry Ford retinal specialists have extensive experience in the treatment of diabetic macular edema, regardless of the complexity of the case. In addition, our team works closely with Henry Ford Medical Group physicians in other departments, providing multidisciplinary, coordinated care for those patients who need it. Our patients have access to advanced diagnostic tests and treatment and, if eligible, related clinical trials.


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