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Doctor insights on: Alternative Treatments For Epiretinal Membrane

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What does epiretinal membrane over the mascula mean?

What does epiretinal membrane over the mascula mean?

Yes: An epiretinal membrane is a thin scar tissue-like layer that can distort the macula or cause swelling. Sometimes a pucker is referred to as "scar tissue on the retina", and "epiretinal gliosis." when appropriate, surgery to remove the pucker may be a good idea to halt vision deterioration, or modestly improve vision. Best to see a retina specialist for this kind of problem. ...Read more

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Can an epiretinal membrane deteriorate? Or can it get better?

Can an epiretinal membrane deteriorate? Or can it get better?

Mostly stable: This is a condensation of the interface between the vitreous gel and the underlying macula of the retina. It can occur as a response to surgery, trauma but frequently is spontaneous. Most stabilize and do not progress. A smaller number will progress and surgery is generally offered. Improvement is very rare spontaneously. ...Read more

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Is there any way to predict if an epiretinal membrane will continue to grow.

Is there any way to predict if an epiretinal membrane will continue to grow.

Not really: However, over long periods of time, most epiretinal membranes worsen. An epiretinal membrane should be monitored every 6-12 months for worsening. Once it reaches a certain threshold of effect on vision (poor visual acuity, or lots of distortion), surgery may be of benefit. ...Read more

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Is epiretinal membrane the same thing as macular pucker?

Is epiretinal membrane the same thing as macular pucker?

Yes: Yes, both terms describe the same condition. This condition results from a membrane forming from a remnant of vitreous that stays adherent to the retina after the vitreous separates from the retina. This condition may never cause visual issues, but in some people the membrane will wrinkle and may need to be surgically removed. ...Read more

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What is the difference between macular degeneration & epiretinal membrane?

What is the difference between macular degeneration & epiretinal membrane?

Totally different: Macualr degeneration is a condition that directly affects layers of the retina in the back of these that are responsible for light sensing (outer segments and RPE). The condition is usually present in the setting of having genetic suseptability. Epiretinal membrane grows on the inner surface of the retina. Is causes secondary retinal swelling and distortion affecting vision. ...Read more

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Comparing macular degeneration and epiretinal membrane, which is the most serious and why?

Depends: On severity. However, I would take an epiretinal membrane (term) over age related macular degeneration any day. The reason is that an erm, if treated we vision is still fairly good, has excellent results. Macular degeneration has no good treatment for the dry disease and folks often loose vision regardless of what is done. If vision loss is severe form erm before surgery, outcomes disappoint. ...Read more

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What does this mean? "Epiretinal membrane over the mascular area"?

What does this mean? "Epiretinal membrane over the mascular area"?

Membrane atop macula: Normally the vitreous gel which fills the eye sits on top of the macular (and the rest of the retina) with no direct connection. But sometimes, usually with age, trauma or surgery on the interior of the eye, there is a condensation of the vitreous gel edge in this area which can cause a wrinkling of the retina and visual distortion. This is an epiretinal membrane. ...Read more

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I have an epiretinal membrane. Dr said he isn't too concerned but will check it in a year. Why does it need to be monitored?

I have an epiretinal membrane. Dr said he isn't too concerned but will check it in a year. Why does it need to be monitored?

Monitor for vision : Most empire tonal membranes do not require intervention. However, if it progresses causing vision distortion, vitreomacular traction, retinal swelling or intraretinal cystic changes then removal may be indicated. This is surgery performed only by a vitreoretinal specialist. ...Read more

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Can epiretinal membrane affect peripheral vision?

Can epiretinal membrane affect peripheral vision?

Not by itself: If an epiretinal membrane is the only pathology in the back of the eye, then the peripheral vision will be unaffected. Epiretinal membranes are commonly present in association with other retinal problems which may affect the peripheral vision although the membrane did not cause that. ...Read more

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Can a moderate epiretinal membrane cause loss of depth perception.

Can a moderate epiretinal membrane cause loss of depth perception.

Eyes: Yes!
At age 71 I have been wearing glasses since age 6 and have had changes made more often than I can remember.
Please see your eye doctor as soon as you can!. ...Read more

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What to do if I have epiretinal membrane peel and vitrectomy plus a new lense?

What to do if I have epiretinal membrane peel and vitrectomy plus a new lense?

Epiretinal Membrane: Sounds like your doctor may have recommended surgery for your epiretinal membrane or macular pucker (ERM) as it is possibly affecting your vision. Not sure what you are asking re 'what to do'. Are you asking if you should have the surgery or are you asking what you can do after surgery? Deciding to have a surgical procedure such as ERM repair should be discussed in detail with your eye surgeon. ...Read more

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Can you tell me about epiretinal membrane peel and vitrectomy plus a new lense?

Can you tell me about epiretinal membrane peel and vitrectomy plus a new lense?

Major surgery: You apparently have a cataract and an epiretinal membrane (erm). The erm causes wrinkling of the macular area with visual distortion. The cataract obstructs the view. Removal of the cataract and then doing a vitrectomy (removal of the gel in the back of the eye) allows removal by peeling off the erm. The removed cataract is replaced with a new lense. Retinal surgeons do this often. ...Read more

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What can I expect when getting an epiretinal membrane peel and vitrectomy plus a new lens?

What can I expect when getting an epiretinal membrane peel and vitrectomy plus a new lens?

See below: Epiretinal membranes are peeled when these membranes distort the macula (central retina) and thus the central vision. Vitrectomy is necessary in order to allow surgical instruments access to the membrane on the macula to peel it. This should improve central visual distortion. Vitrectomy always accelerates cataract formation, so a new intraocular lens replaces the cataract to focus light better. ...Read more

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In general how fast can epiretinal membrane disease advance and cause permanent vision loss?

Treatable.: An epiretinal membrane causes distortion of the vision because the membrane distorts the macular cells. It can be fixed with surgery. It can progress at different rates among patients and sometimes doesn't progress or spontaneously resolves. See your Ophthalmologist. ...Read more

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In surgery for epiretinal membrane is it likely that all the vision that was lost will come back?

In surgery for epiretinal membrane is it likely that all the vision that was lost will come back?

That is the goal: The epiretinal membrane, a condensation of the edge of the adjacent vitreous gel, pulls on the wrinkles the underlying retina. Removal allows the retina to flatten out and elminates some distortion from the membrane as well. If the retina was perfectly healthy underneath, then recovery is likely, but the surgery is tricky and the tissues not always health so recovery is not a guarantee. ...Read more

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Can an epiretinal membrane cause 2 or 3 letters in a line of words on a computer or on a street sign to look smudged, blurry or partly missing.

Can an epiretinal membrane cause 2 or 3 letters in a line of words on a computer or on a street sign to look smudged, blurry or partly missing.

Yes: An epiretinal membrane is a condensation of the vitreous tissue atop the macular area. It's attachments to the underlying retina can cause the symptoms you describe. Hopefully these are minor and not progressive but if that happens, see a retinal surgeon for evaluation and treatment. ...Read more

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Is it better to have surgery for epiretinal membrane in early stage instead of waiting for vision to worsen? I have minor blurring, no distortion now.

Is it better to have surgery for epiretinal membrane in early stage instead of waiting for vision to worsen? I have minor blurring, no distortion now.

Yes, better wait: If you have a good vision and no distortion then please wait. Sometime the membrane can resolve by itself. There is a higher risk and complication with surgery. Therefore, its advice to wait until its visually significant. If you have burning sensation then It's a superficial problem from dry eyes. Please use some artificial tears, omega 3 and heat pack over the eye. Ask Your doc for quidance ...Read more

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Will having an epiretinal membrane affect the success of cataract surgery.?

Will having an epiretinal membrane affect the success of cataract surgery.?

No and yes: Cataract surgery can be expertly performed and executed when there is an epiretinal membrane present. However, the visual acuity following cataract surgery may be disappointing because the epiretinal membrane is causing the poor vision, and removing the cataract did not make much of a difference. ...Read more

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Why is face down positioning required after surgery for peeling of epiretinal membrane?

Why is face down positioning required after surgery for peeling of epiretinal membrane?

Gravity: When you are lying on your face, your retina is on the upper surface of your eyeball. If there is any air introduced into the eye during the procedure it will float to the top, and if there is any small amounts of bleeding, the red cells will fall away from the retina. There is some controversy over the need for face down, and some surgeons forego it -- please follow your surgeon's recommendations ...Read more

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Have moderate epiretinal membrane & mild glaucoma. Is it safe to use extended wear 30-day contact lenses?

Have moderate epiretinal membrane & mild glaucoma. Is it safe to use extended wear 30-day contact lenses?

Probably : I'm not a strong proponent of extended wear contact lenses, but with careful use and diligence, they can be worn safely. With your glaucoma, the associated antiglaucoma medications may result in some ocular surface irritation, that may interfere with comfort & visual acuity. Furthermore, I don't recommend the medications to be instilled while wearing the contact lenses: better==daily wear contacts ...Read more

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Epiretinal membrane stage 2. Blur & glare on work computer w/headaches, but vision is 20/20. How can it be that good?

Epiretinal membrane stage 2.  Blur & glare on work computer w/headaches, but vision is 20/20. How can it be that good?

20/20 is just: One part of the equation for vision. Its quantitative assessment. This doesn't necessarily mean the quality of the "20/20" vision is normal. Also, the epiretinal membrane could be causing wrinkling in areas not responsible for your central the best vision. I don't think this is the cause of your glare or headaches. Epiretinal membrane would cause distortion in vision. ...Read more

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How difficult is the surgery for epiretinal membrane and what is recovery like for someone whose occupation is very detail oriented?

Tricky: The surgery involves peeling off a membrane over the most sensitive part of the retina — the macula and fovea. It is tricky and there is some risk. It is done when the vision gets progressively worse or is at a level where you do not want to live with the distortion. If you cannot do your "detail oriented" work now due to the distortion, then the risk might be worth it. ...Read more

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Retina dr that treats epiretinal membrane thinks much of the macropsia is refractive because vision is 20/20. Recent rx didn't help. Any suggestions?

Retina dr that treats epiretinal membrane thinks much of the macropsia is refractive because vision is 20/20. Recent rx didn't help. Any suggestions?

Epiretinal Membrane: Do cause distortion in vision to varying severities. But if you are able to read the 20/20 line, even though its not perfect, then leave it alone. The only treatment is surgery and this has the chance of making your vision worse. Glasses will only improve things to a certain degree because your Fuchs dystrophy and ERM are causing the imperfections in vision. ...Read more

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Please tell me what does epiretinal membrane over the mascular area mean?

Please tell me what does epiretinal membrane over the mascular area mean?

Scar tissue: It is basically a very thin "celluphane"-like membrane of scar tissue that for many reasons can spread over the central part of the retina. It often causes no significant problems but can be managed surgically if it does. ...Read more

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If visual accuity before surgery for epiretinal membrane is 20/50, after surgery will vision be 20/50 or is it likely to be worse initially.

Yes: Immediately following surgery visual acuity is often worse until the eye recovers, though some patients have better vision immediately. Once the eye heals typically two-thirds of patients enjoy an improvement of 2 or more lines on the eye chart. So a vision of 20/50 would be expected to settle in at 20/30 or better, though some eyes do not improve. ...Read more

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Can epiretinal membrane become worse over the years based solely on number of years it has been there even if no additional vitreous has pulled away?

Yes: If an epiretinal membrane is present, it will likely progress over time even without any further vitreous detachment or change. ...Read more

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