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How Macular Edema Causes Disability


At the center of the retina is a small area called the macula. It is comprised of light-sensitive tissue bordering the back of the eye. It is the macula that is gives us detailed, exact vision, enabling us to read, see color, perform detailed work, recognize a face and see faraway objects.

Edema means there is swelling caused by fluid retention.

Macular edema is like a blister of excess fluid in the macula. It occurs when blood vessels in the retina are leaking fluids, causing swelling of the retina. The macula cannot work correctly when it is swollen. Loss of vision may range from mild to severe. The worse the swelling, the more disabling the visual distortion becomes.

Chronic macular edema can lead to irreversible damage and permanent loss of vision. Peripheral (side) vision may remain undamaged.

What Causes Macular Edema?

Macular edema is commonly caused by diseases that damage blood vessels in the retina. It often occurs as a complication of diabetic retinopathy and is the most common form of vision loss for people with diabetes.

Other causes of macular edema include:

  • After-effects of eye surgery, such as cataract surgery
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye between the retina and the white of the eye)
  • Retinal vein occlusion (obstruction of the veins that transport blood away from the retina)
  • Hereditary diseases (such as retinitis pigmentosa)
  • Eye tumors
  • Trauma

Proving Long-Term Disability for Macular Edema

By researching all available medical documentation, vocational assessments and physicians’ statements – applying further functional or medical assessments as needed – we will develop a comprehensive appeal to help you prove your macular edema disability case and secure the benefits you deserve.

Because this condition develops within the retina, diagnosis may include testing called fluorescein angiography to demonstrate leaking blood vessels.

Another procedure called optical coherence tomography (OCT) may be used to produce images of your retina to detect swelling, the presence of fluid and the thickness of the retina.

But overturning a denial decision for vision loss requires much more than a diagnosis. Approval or denial of your claim will be based on the extent to which you demonstrate you are functionally unable to work.

Contact Us Today

If your insurance company has wrongly denied your claim for macular edema disability, or you have questions about the disability claim process for vision loss, we urge you to contact us.

At the law firm of Mehr Fairbanks Trial Lawyers we understand the many difficulties macular edema can bring, and your need to obtain long term disability benefits. Vision loss from macular edema threatens your ability to engage in a host of daily activities such as working, driving, reading, and a multitude of routine and simple tasks, and can ultimately lead to blindness.

We are prepared to fight for your right to the long term disability insurance benefits you deserve. Call Mehr Fairbanks Trial Lawyers without delay, for a free evaluation of your claim: 800-249-3731.

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