What Is a Macular Pucker (or Epiretinal Membrane)?
A macular pucker or epiretinal membrane is wrinkling over the macula or over the central part of the vision.
What Are the Symptoms?
The most common symptom of a macular pucker is distorted vision where straight lines like doorways or stop signs often appear wavy. This distortion can be mild, moderate or severe.
What Causes a Macular Pucker?
There are many conditions that cause a macular pucker:
- A torn or detached retina.
- Inflammation within the eye.
- Injury to the eye.
- Problems with the retinal blood vessels.
- Vitreous detachment or aging of the gel inside the eye.
Can I Do Something to Prevent Macular Pucker?
There is nothing you can do to prevent a macular pucker.
How Is It Diagnosed?
A complete ophthalmologic examination along with a photographic test called a fluorescent angiogram may be necessary to determine the extent of the damage to the macula from the macular pucker.
What Is the Treatment?
If the symptoms of distortion and decreased vision are mild, no treatment is necessary. Eye drops, medications and laser surgery will not improve the vision. Sometimes changing glasses by improving the magnification can help.
The only treatment for worsening vision is vitrectomy surgery where tiny instruments are used to remove the wrinkling in the retina. Vision does not usually return all the way to normal, but it does improve in most cases. Surgery is not necessary for everyone who has a macular pucker.
This is an elective procedure and if patients are not bothered by symptoms, typically they are simply examined annually. To schedule an appointment at our Loveland office, please call (970) 744-2566 or email Kirk Eye Care today.