Epiretinal Membrane Causes and Diagnosis
In most cases, a macular pucker is related to normal age-related changes inside the eye, mainly posterior vitreous detachment (PVD).
During this process, there is an area of superficial irritation in the retina. Then, vitreous cells may be released and multiply on the retina’s surface as a healing response.
Secondary epiretinal membranes most commonly develop with risk factors, such as:
- prior retinal detachment surgery
- laser treatment for diabetic eye disease
- retinal tears
- blockage of retinal blood vessels (diabetic retinopathy)
- inflammation (swelling) in the eye and trauma
Epiretinal membranes are not linked to age-related macular degeneration, though.
Most epiretinal membranes affect only one eye. Roughly 10 % of idiopathic epiretinal membranes affect both eyes.
Also, they are quite common and affect up to 10% of patients in their 50s-60s or older.
There is nothing you can do to prevent this eye condition. However, the risk of secondary epiretinal membranes could be reduced in some cases by managing the underlying cause (e.g.diabetes).
Whichever the cause, the macular pucker is diagnosed during a routine eye exam (slit lamp test).
Sometimes, your eye doctor may ask for a special scan of the back of the eye known as Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) to confirm the diagnosis and the severity of the condition. It allows evaluating the macula in cross-section and three-dimensionally.
In some patients, your eye doctor can suggest additional testing like fluorescein angiography to determine if underlying retinal problems are causing this condition.
Do You Need Epiretinal Membrane Surgery?
Not all epiretinal membranes need treatment!
When deciding on the surgery, the main symptoms are blurring and distortion of vision severe enough to make it hard to perform everyday tasks, such as reading and driving.
Surgery is the only treatment for an epiretinal membrane. There are no eye drops or tablets that you can take that will help.
However, suppose your macular pucker is not causing any problems with your vision, or you present with minimal distortion. In that case, your ophthalmologist may suggest just monitoring the membrane to see whether it worsens.
In many cases, as just one eye is generally affected, patients can adjust to the difference in vision.
HOW MUCH DOES EPIRETINAL MEMBRANE SURGERY COST?
Epiretinal Membrane Surgery cost depends on the technique performed.
If you want to receive a quote, please, fill in the contact form. You can send us your recent medical reports, so we can offer you the solution that best suits your needs.
You can be sure that this information will always be treated with maximum confidentiality.
EPIRETINAL MEMBRANE SPECIALISTS AT BARRAQUER EYE HOSPITAL:
External links – Bibliography
Treatment of retinal detachment secondary to macular hole in high myopia: vitrectomy with dissection of the inner limiting membrane to the edge of the staphyloma and long-term tamponade. Nadal J, Verdaguer P, Canut MI.Retina. 2012 Sep
Vitrectomy and internal limiting membrane peeling for macular folds secondary to hypotony in myopes. Nadal J, Carreras E, Canut MI, Barraquer RI.Clin Ophthalmol. 2015 May 1
Internal limiting membrane translocation for refractory macular holes. Pires J, Nadal J, Gomes NL.Br J Ophthalmol. 2017 Mar
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