What is it?
An epiretinal membrane is a membrane or scar tissue growing on the surface of your macula. As the scar tissue progresses it can distort the retinal anatomy.
How is it diagnosed?
Epiretinal membranes can be diagnosed on clinical examination and OCT scans.
What symptoms does it cause?
The most common symptoms are blurred vision and distortion (straight lines appearing wavy). It commonly causes difficulty reading and may cause a blurred/black spot in central vision.
What causes it?
Most commonly they are caused as a process of aging. Secondary causes are uveitis (eye inflammation), retinal tear and detachments, retinal blood blockages or trauma.
How is it treated?
If the epiretinal membrane causes minimal or no symptoms then they can be observed. More severe cases which are affecting vision may need vitrectomy surgery in a hospital to prevent further loss of vision and improve symptoms in around 90% of cases. This involves specialised key-hole eye surgery. The vitreous jelly is removed inside the eye and the epiretinal membrane is delicately peeled of the surface of the retina with fine forceps.