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Epiretinal membrane (ERM) is a condition characterised by the growth of abnormal tissue across the surface of the macula, the central part of the retina.
The eye lens is like the camera’s lens, receiving light rays. The retina is like the photographic film inside it, capturing the light in order to transform it into images.
At the heart of this film-like layer is the macula, an area that allows us to see objects in sharp detail. An epiretinal membrane (ERM) is what happens when a thin layer of scar tissue forms across this macular area.
Your vision might not be affected as it forms, but if the tissue later contracts, it may pull on the retina and distort your central vision. This can make reading difficult. It may also cause straight lines to appear wavy.
The best way to ‘fix’ epiretinal membranes is with a procedure called a vitrectomy. But not everyone who develops ERM will necessarily opt to have surgery. ERM treatment is often a matter of choice – and that’s something we can help you with when you come to the clinic.