Epiretinal membrane (ERM) is a very thin layer of scar tissue that develops over the inside lining of the eye, the retina. In most cases it is mild and does not cause problems. If the epiretinal membrane becomes thicker, it can cause retinal thickening and puckering which causes blurry vision and distortion. This usually affects the part of the retina called macula, causing problems with central vision.
Epiretinal membrane is common, especially in older people and often there is no obvious underlying cause. Some ocular conditions such as vein occlusions, vitreous detachment, diabetes, intraocular inflammation and previous trauma can predispose to development of an epiretinal membranes.
Most people with an epiretinal membrane don’t have symptoms and do not require treatment, only intermittent monitoring. If the vision becomes affected, a surgical epiretinal membrane peel may be required.