Epiretinal Membrane

An epiretinal membrane (ERM) is a thin layer of scar tissue that develops on the retina. Also referred to as cellophane maculopathy or a macular pucker, ERMs may blur or distort your central vision as the membrane begins to wrinkle and shrink. Objects may appear to be bent or wavy, similar to viewing them through a glass bottle. Other symptoms of epiretinal membranes can be increased difficulty reading small print, seeing fine detail, or blind spots in your vision.

Most epiretinal membranes develop as a consequence of age, but they can also develop in patients with uveitis, after eye trauma, or after other eye surgeries.

If your retinal specialist determines that your epiretinal membrane is causing blurred vision or is threatening the health of your macula, he can remove the membrane with surgery (vitrectomy with membrane peeling). Occasionally there is a role for anti-inflammatory eye drops in the treatment of epiretinal membranes, but for the most part the only way to address the scar tissue is with surgery.

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