Epiretinal Membrane

mother and daughter hugging

Epiretinal Membrane Explained

An epiretinal membrane is a thin layer of scar tissue that develops on the surface of the retina. These membranes, which often develop after a vitreous separation related to aging, are common and often do not cause any problems. Most patients with an epiretinal membrane occurrence never have vision problems and do not require treatment.

In some eyes the membrane can pull on the retina and wrinkle the center part called the macula. The traction on the retina can cause swelling and distortion leading to blurred vision. If the membrane pulls on the retina for a long time, permanent damage to the vision can occur.

Symptoms

Many patients with epiretinal membrane have no symptoms and will never have any problems. Patients with more severe retinal traction may experience blurred or distorted vision.

 

Treatments

Most patients with mild epiretinal membranes do not need any treatment. In cases where there is significant traction from the epiretinal membrane that causes vision impairment, treatment can be considered. In some cases, the swelling of the retina might respond to steroid treatments, which can come in the form of drops or injections performed by your doctor.

women using her cell phone outside

Surgery

In cases that do not respond to other treatments, surgery may be needed to remove the membrane from the surface of the retina with a procedure called a vitrectomy. Our retina specialists at Southeast Eye will guide you on whether you would benefit from retina surgery.