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Epiretinal Membrane

An epiretinal membrane, also known as a macular pucker or cellophane retinopathy, is a condition characterized by the growth of a membrane across the macula (the central area of the retina).

What Are the Symptoms of an Epiretinal Membrane?

  • Decreased or distorted central vision
  • Double vision that is noticeable even with one eye covered
  • Distortion of images (straight lines may appear bent or wavy)

How Does an Epiretinal Membrane Affect Vision?

Scar tissue from membrane growth forms across the macula and interferes with central vision. The membrane typically becomes tights and contracts, causing wrinkling of the central retina and producing distorted vision. Patients with this condition often notice that straight objects appear wavy or bent and that their central vision is reduced.

How Is an Epiretinal Membrane Diagnosed?

An epiretinal membrane can be diagnosed using a series of tests. Amsler grids can help determine the extent of the visual distortion and the location of the distortion in your field of vision. An Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) can be performed to identify any abnormalities within the eye. The OCT uses light to produce high-resolution, cross-sectional images of the retina, macula and optic nerve and can be used to diagnose a variety of eye diseases. Your doctor may also order a Flourescein Angiography in order to help visualize blood vessels in the eye. A flourescein angiogram can detect the presence of abnormal and leaking blood vessels.

How Is an Epiretinal Membrane Treated?

Many cases of epiretinal membranes are mild enough that no treatment is necessary. Depending on the severity of the problem, surgery may be required to help improve your vision. Your ophthalmologist will discuss the best surgical option for you.

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