An epiretinal membrane, also known as a macular pucker, is a thin layer of scar tissue that forms over the macula, the area of the retina that gives us clear central vision. An epiretinal membrane often develops with age, as the vitreous gel that makes up most of the eye’s volume thins and pulls away from the retina. The damage caused to the retina leads to the formation of scar tissue on the retina. When the scar tissue contracts, the retina wrinkles, or puckers, causing blurry or distorted central vision.

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Patients with an epiretinal membrane may experience difficulty seeing fine details and reading small print, and straight lines may appear wavy. There may also be a gray area or blind spot in the center of your vision.

Most cases of epiretinal membranes do not progress and do not require treatment. The symptoms of distortion and blurriness are usually mild, and patients are able to adjust to the vision changes without much impact on their daily lives. Noninvasive treatments such as eye drops or medications will not improve vision that is distorted from an epiretinal membrane. If vision distortion is severe enough, a vitrectomy may be performed to repair this condition.