Epiretinal Membranes

Epiretinal Membranes (ERMs), also know as cellophane maculopathy, macular pucker, or wrinkling of the retina are semitranslucent fibrocellular membranes that form on the inner surface of the retina.  The results in a painless loss of vision or visual distortion.

Epiretinal Membranes

Most macular puckers are related to vitreous detachment, which usually occurs in people over age 50. As you age, you are at increased risk for ERMs.  Epiretinal membranes can also be triggered by certain eye diseases and disorders, such as a detached retina, inflammation of the eye (uveitis),  diabetic retinopathy, or retinal vein occlusions. Also, people with diabetes sometimes develop an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy, which can cause a macular pucker. A macular pucker can also be caused by trauma.

If the symptoms of vision distortion and blurriness are mild, the condition can be observed without surgical intervention. There is no evidence that eye drops, medications, or nutritional supplements beneficial in the treatment of epiretinal membranes.

In other cases, vision deteriorates to the point where it affects daily routine activities. When this happens, surgery may be recommended. This procedure is called a vitrectomy with epiretinal membrane peeling, in which the vitreous gel is removed and the ERM which causes the wrinkling is removed.