Merck Manual

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Epiretinal Membrane

(Macular Pucker; Cellophane Maculopathy; Premacular Fibrosis)

By

Sonia Mehta

, MD, Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery Service, Wills Eye Hospital, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Medically Reviewed Apr 2022 | Modified Sep 2022
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Topic Resources

Epiretinal membrane is formation of a thin membrane over the retina, which interferes with vision.

Epiretinal membrane is a thin membrane or layer of scar tissue that forms over the retina (the transparent, light-sensitive structure at the back of the eye) and then contracts, wrinkling the retina underneath. An epiretinal membrane typically occurs after age 50 and is most common among people older than 75.

Various conditions that can cause or contribute to wrinkling of the retina include the following:

Most of the time, however, no clear cause of epiretinal membrane can be identified.

The Retina and Optic Nerve
VIDEO

Symptoms of Epiretinal Membrane

Symptoms of epiretinal membrane may include blurred vision or distorted vision (for example, straight lines may appear wavy). Many people say that it seems like they are looking through plastic wrap or cellophane.

Diagnosis of Epiretinal Membrane

Treatment of Epiretinal Membrane

  • Sometimes vitrectomy with membrane peel

Most people need no treatment. If the blurred or distorted vision is bothersome, the vitreous and membrane can be removed surgically, using a procedure called a vitrectomy with membrane peel. This procedure can be done under local anesthesia in an operating room and usually takes about 30 minutes.

More Information

The following is an English-language resource that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.

    • National Eye Institute: A resource for learning about eye health (in English and Spanish) for adults and children, as well as access to outreach campaigns. Simply type in the appropriate search term.

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

Generic Name Select Brand Names
AK-Fluor, Fluorescite, Fluorets , Fluor-I-Strip, Fluor-I-Strip A.T., Ful-Glo, Ophthalmicflur
NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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