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Causes of an Epiretinal Membrane

Eye Epiretinal Membrane

Epiretinal Membrane diagram — cited from Mayo FoundationMost patients with Epiretinal Membrane have no symptoms and find out they have it during a dilated retinal exam or during retinal imaging. Most commonly, it causes minimal symptoms and can be simply monitored; however, in some cases epiretinal membrane can result in painless loss of vision and visual distortion.

With the aging process, the vitreous gel inside the eye slowly shrinks and pulls away from the retina surface. For some people, the pull on the retina causes a small amount of damage in the form of a tear. As this heals, a thin layer of scar tissue forms on the retina’s surface called an epiretinal membrane.

How common is epiretinal membrane?

Epiretinal membrane is a vision issue that can affect anyone, even people without a history of vision issues. The most common type of epiretinal membrane is spontaneous and is common in patients over the age of 50. Men and women are affected equally. It is more common over the age of 60. Typically an epiretinal membrane only forms in one eye, but over time, it is possible for epiretinal membranes to form in both eyes.

What does vision look like with epiretinal membrane?

This membrane causes wrinkling of the retina. If the tissue is over the macula, it can lead to blurry and distorted central vision. The peripheral vision remains intact.

Can epiretinal membrane cause blindness?

Typically epiretinal membranes do not cause total blindness. As a matter of fact, in some cases people may find that their vision is not impacted at all. It all depends on how mild or severe the developing epiretinal membrane becomes.

How can epiretinal membrane be prevented?

Although there is no way to prevent the formation of an epiretinal membrane, regular eye care can identify this condition early and allow your eye doctor to monitor for any significant changes in your eye’s anatomy and vision.

Having an epiretinal membrane is not a disability. Many people find it does not cause noticeable symptoms. It is also possible to have treatment that can improve your vision.

Consult a Board-Certified Ophthalmologist

We understand how important your vision is and our board-certified ophthalmologists are experienced in retina surgery and provide compassionate care. Isn’t it time you started seeing better? Contact Southern Vitreoretinal Associates today to schedule your appointment.


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