Our retina specialist will examine and treat patients with an Epiretinal Membrane (ERM), also referred to as a Macular Pucker or cellophane maculopathy. This retinal condition describes a cellophane-like membrane forming over the macula, or the central part of the retina.
It is typically a slow-progressing problem that can affect the central vision by causing blur or distortion. As it progresses, the membrane may cause traction and lead to swelling of the macula. Epiretinal membranes (ERMs) are more often seen in people over 70 years of age. Its exact cause is not completely understood, and the majority of ERMs have no associated ocular abnormality. Epiretinal membranes can be associated with other eye problems such as Diabetic Retinopathy, Posterior Vitreous Detachment, Macular Hole, and Retinal Detachment.
Vitreomacular Adhesion (VMA) is the normal precursor for a natural ageing process of the eye, called Posterior Vitreous Detachment. With VMA, the vitreous gel, that naturally fills the eye, is strongly adherent to the macula (center of vision). In case the gel continues to pull onto the macula, it may lead to a condition called Vitreomacular Traction (VMT).
Vitreomacular traction may also cause a central blurriness to the vision and distortion of fine lines, and if continued may lead to formation of a Macular Hole.
Distorted Vision-Straight lines appear bent or wavy.
Epiretinal Membrane Diagnosis & Treatment
Epiretinal membranes and vitreomacular traction are diagnosed with a dilated fundus examination and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). If there is a significant effect on vision, a surgical procedure to “peel” the epiretinal membrane and remove the vitreous gel may be considered.
If there is no or minimal effect on vision, observation is usually recommended.