There Are Two Kinds of Diabetic Edema

Two kinds of edema are associated with diabetes: peripheral edema and diabetic macular edema. Peripheral edema is swelling in your lower legs, ankles, or feet. It can result from having type 2 diabetes. People who do not walk or get much exercise can develop this condition, as can people sitting on an airplane or at their job for long periods of time.

Diabetics may develop peripheral edema for several reasons, such as acute renal failure, acute liver failure, cardiovascular disease, or from other causes. All of the causes are serious and require an immediate visit to your doctor's office.

Complications of Peripheral Edema

Besides indicating that a person could have a more serious health problem, peripheral edema causes other problems if it is not treated. The swelling
in the area can become worse and be painful, making it difficult to walk. The arteries, veins, and joints in the area could also lose their elasticity, and there can be scarring between layers of tissue. Also, when an area of the body is swollen, there is a higher chance of this area becoming infected. It can also lead to an awkward gait because of stiffness in the ankle or foot. Ulcerations in the area can also result, which can develop into a serious problem for the diabetic.

Diabetic Macular Edema

Diabetics are more likely to develop edema in their eyes, which is called diabetic macular edema and is a form of diabetic retinopathy. This occurs when the blood vessels in the eye leak fluid and swell. To prevent blindness, it is important to get treatment right away. For this reason, diabetes management should include a yearly dilated eye exam. According to the National Eye Institute, diabetics could reduce their risk of severe vision loss by 95 percent if they have dilated eye exams every year.

An ophthalmologist or other eye specialist performs an eye exam after dilating the pupils. The doctor can then examine the various parts of the eye
to see if there has been any damage that is a result of diabetes. Treatment at the early stage of macular edema can save the person's sight and may include laser eye surgery and injections of medications that stop the growth of abnormal tissue in the eye. If more diabetics were to undergo an annual eye exam, there would be less loss of vision from this disease.

Source: Medical News Today
Photo: Pexels

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