All about Epiretinal Membrane

Epiretinal Membrane

Sometimes a membrane forms on the surface of the retina inside the eye. As this film contracts, it can distort your vision and may need to be surgically removed by peeling it away from the retina.

What causes epiretinal membrane (ERM)?

Most membranes are caused by the vitreous (the jelly inside the eyeball) pulling away from the retina. It is most common in people over the age of 50. Other causes include inflammation inside the eye and certain types of eye surgery.


How does ERM affect the vision?

In the early stages you may not be aware of any changes to your vision. However, if the membrane starts contracting it can cause disortion of your central vision, like looking through a waterfall. Treatment is only usually necessary if you are aware of significant distortion in your vision which is interfering with everyday activities.


How is ERM treated?

There are two stages to surgical treatment. The first stage involves removing the vitreous jelly inside the eyeball (a 'vitrectromy'), before the surgeon gently peels the membrane away from the retina.