Retinal Conditions


Epiretinal Membrane

An epiretinal membrane, also known as a macular pucker or cellophane macuolpathy, is a thin sheet of fibrous tissue that develops on the surface of the central retina known as the macula. Normal cells derived from ocular tissues become liberated into the vitreous cavity and settle onto the macular surface. In some cases, these cells proliferate and form a membrane. In severe cases this membrane causes visual changes.

Symptoms

Symptoms of an epiretinal membrane include blurred, cloudy and/or distorted central vision. These symptoms can range from mild to severe. Peripheral vision is not affected. Diagnosis is determined by performing a detailed retinal examination and retinal imaging studies using fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography.

Causes

Normal occurring cells derived from ocular tissues settle and grow on top of the retina. This growth of fibrous tissue can contract and cause the underlying retina to wrinkle. Conditions associated with the development of an epiretinal membrane or macular pucker include vitreous detachment, torn or detached retina, inflammation, vascular damage and trauma from surgery or injury.

Treatments

In mild cases with few or no symptoms, no treatment is necessary. In cases where visual impairment interferes with daily activities, vitrectomy surgery (removal of the vitreous gel inside the eye) with removal of the epiretinal membrane is recommended.

i For more information click here.


Macular Hole

A macular hole is a small defect in the central portion of the retina called the macula. The macula is responsible for allowing us to see fine detail. At the center of the macula is the fovea, the thinnest and most delicate portion of the entire retina. It is in the fovea that a macular hole can develop.

Symptoms

In the early stages of a macular hole formation, central vision is blurry and distorted. As the hole grows larger, a blind spot develops and central vision further deteriorates. Peripheral vision is not affected.

Causes

In most cases a macular hole develops as a result of anatomical changes that occur naturally. As a person ages, the vitreous gel inside the eye shrinks and pulls away from the macula. In a small percentage of individuals, the resulting mechanical stress causes the macular tissue to stretch and tear, forming a hole. Traumatic eye injury and chronic swelling can also cause a macular hole to form. A retinal exam and retinal imaging studies such as fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography are used to confirm the presence of a macular hole.

Treatments

Vitrectomy surgery (removal of the vitreous gel that fills the eye) is necessary for the treatment of most macular holes. A gas bubble is placed inside the eye to help close the hole and keep it in place while healing occurs. Visual outcome is variable and depends on factors such as the size of the macular hole and how long it has been present.

i For more information click here.