Epiretinal Membrane

An epiretinal membrane (or “Macular Pucker”) is scar tissue that has formed on the eye's macula, located in the center of the retina. The result is blurred and distorted central vision.  Sometimes the symptoms are mild, and sometimes they are bothersome or interfere with a patient’s activities.

 

Most epiretinal membranes are due to aging changes within the eye.  Diabetes, trauma, prior surgery, and inflammation are other risk factors.

 

How is epiretinal membrane detected?

An eye doctor can make the diagnosis with a dilated eye exam.  Sometimes, fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography provide useful additional information.

 

How is an epiretinal membrane treated?

In mild cases, where vision is minimally affected, no treatment is necessary.  If vision deteriorates or affects daily activities, vitrectomy surgery with removal of the epiretinal membrane may be recommended.

 

How successful is this surgery?

Surgery to repair a macular pucker is very delicate, and while vision improves in most cases, it does not usually return fully (to normal). Recovery of vision after surgery can take up to three months.

 

More information?

The National Eye Institute http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/pucker/index.asp

   Retina Center

Minnesota

 

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