Epiretinal Membranes/Macula Pucker

Epiretinal Membrane:

Sometimes referred to as Macular Pucker and Cellophane Maculopathy, this is a condition where the center of the retina (macula) develops a fine film, which wrinkles the retina at the center of the vision. In most patients, there is no underlying cause found; however, risk factors include inflammation, retinal tears, retinal detachments, trauma and diabetic retinopathy. You may also develop blurry vision and wavy/distorted lines.

Vitreomacular Traction:

This is a partial separation of the vitreous (jelly that fills the eye) from the visual center (macula) causing distortion of the retina. Symptoms include decreased vision, blurred vision and wavy/distorted lines.

Macular Holes:

This shares a common history with epiretinal membranes and vitreomacular traction in which a hole develops in the macula. Symptoms are similar to those of epiretinal membrane as well as vitreomacular traction.

Detection:

A complete dilated eye exam is required to detect these issues. Testing may include Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), which is an imaging technique that captures images of the macula at microscopic levels.

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Management:

  • Observation: In some cases where the vision is not significantly affecting daily activities or the retina is not significantly distorted, observation may be employed.
  • Intraocular injections: Distortion on the surface of the retina can cause fluid build-up in the body of the retina. This will affect vision and in some cases, injections may be used for treatment, especially if surgery is not an option.

Surgery:

Typically, a vitrectomy with membrane peeling is performed to remove scar tissue or tightly adherent tissue from the surface of the retina. A gas bubble may be placed in the eye to create a splint allowing holes to close as the eye heals after surgery.

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