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Eye diseases

Macular epiretinal membrane (MEM)

The formation of fibrous tissue over the retina.
It is most common above the age of 50.
Surgery improve vision in many cases.

What is macular epiretinal membrane?

Epiretinal membranes are fibrous tissue that grows over the macula, the central part of the retina involved in central and detailed vision. This fibrous tissue causes folds or wrinkles on the surface of the retina and vision is distorted or directly lost. This is one of the most frequent problems with the retina.

The symptoms associated to this disorder do not occur suddenly but gradually. Therefore, the diagnosis is often delayed if you do not have regular eye examinations, which are necessary even if you do not notice anything wrong with your vision, as pointed out by the specialists at Miranza.

Once established, macular epiretinal membranes can cause a loss of central vision, cloudy or blurred vision, and metamorphopsia (i.e. distorted or deformed images).

The main risk factor for developing epiretinal membranes is age (especially over the age of 50). However, there are other factors that increase the possibilities, such as:

Having a macular epiretinal membrane on one eye makes it more likely (20% more risk) for you to develop this problem on the other, so you must ensure you are monitored by your ophthalmologist.

Many epiretinal membranes lead to minor discomfort and do not damage vision in any considerable way. In this case, you can agree with your ophthalmologist to keep the disease under control with regular check ups and to treat it if you leads to greater visual difficulty.

When the epiretinal membranes become worse, the only treatment available is surgery to remove the fibrous tissue that is deforming the retina so that it can once again reflect images correctly. To do so we use a technique known as a vitrectomy, which improves vision in more than 80% of all cases.