Laser may be better than corticosteroids for treating diabetic macular edema

When treating diabetic macular edema (DME), the conventional laser treatment may be more effective than the newer drug therapy used to treat abnormal swelling around the eye, according to a National Eye Institute (NEI) study.

Bethesda, MD-When treating diabetic macular edema (DME), the conventional laser treatment may be more effective than the newer drug therapy used to treat abnormal swelling around the eye, according to a National Eye Institute (NEI) study.

For long-term treatment of DME, laser therapy is more effective than corticosteroids and has fewer side effects, according to the study published in the July edition of Ophthalmology.

Said to be the first study to compare long-term benefits of both treatments and their potential side effects, there is no rationale that one corticosteroid preparation should be substantially different from another, according to study authors.

"Results of this study should confirm the use of laser treatment for DME and will have a significant impact on quality of life for tens of thousands of people being treated for DME in the United States each year," according to Paul A. Sieving, MD, PhD, director of the NEI.