Diabetic macular oedema (DMO) is a complication of diabetes that affects an area at the back of the eye called the macula. It happens when blood vessels in the eye become damaged by poor control of blood sugar, causing swelling and bleeding that may lead to visual impairment.1,2

All people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at risk of DMO. You are at a greater risk if you2:

  • Have had diabetes for a long time
  • Have poorly controlled blood sugar
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have high cholesterol
  • Smoke
  • Are pregnant

It is important to recognise DMO early so it can be treated. When an appointment is booked for you by your doctor, it is important you attend these to manage your disease appropriately. Although treatments cannot reverse sight loss, they can slow the rate of damage and help to preserve your vision.1

Where can I find more information on DMO?

The following organisations are sources for support, advice and information.

Diabetes UK
Support, advice and information for those living with diabetes
Helpline: 0345 123 2399
Mon–Fri 9am–6pm

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)
Support, advice and information for those living with sight loss
Helpline: 0303 123 9999
Mon–Fri 8am–8pm, Sat 9am–5pm

The Macular Society
Advice and support, including free confidential counselling, for people with macular degeneration
Helpline: 0300 303 0111
Mon–Fri 9am–5pm



  1. Macular Society. Diabetic macular oedema. Available at: https://www.macularsociety.org/diabetic-macular-oedema [Accessed June 2020].
  2. Moorfields Eye Hospital. Diabetic macular oedema. Available at: https://www.moorfields.nhs.uk/condition/diabetic-macular-oedema [Accessed June 2020].
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OPT20-C039c September 2020.

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