Epiretinal Membrane

Epiretinal membranes are thin, semitranslucent, fibrocellular avascular ( having few or no blood vessels ) membranes that form on the inner surface of the retina.


The cause of ERMs is due to a defect in the surface layer of the retina where a type of cell, called glial cells, can migrate through and start to grow in a membranous sheet on the retinal surface. This can commonly occur following posterior vitreous detachment ( PVD ), which is an age related degenerative process. It is common in people over the age of 50 years.

It may also form following retinal or eye surgery. In some cases it is related to conditions like eye inflammation , trauma, diabetes, blockage of a blood vessel, etc.


Some patients may have minimal symptoms, but when macula ( the central part of the eye ) is involved the patients may complain of

  • Distorted vision
  • Loss of central vision
  • Problems in reading or recognizing faces
  • Double vision


In most cases ERMs are diagnosed on clinical examination. Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) is an important imaging method used to assess the severity of the ERM. Sometimes, additional testing such as fluorescein angiography is used to determine if other underlying retinal problems have caused the ERM.



ERMs can be observed / monitored if it is stable and does not cause much visual symtoms. However, if the patient is symptomatic,  surgery ( vitrectomy ) can be carried out to peel off the membrane.

Dr. Sangeeta D. Goswami
Get Comprehensive Retina Care From

Dr. Sangeeta D. Goswami

MS (Ophthal), FICO, FRF, VR Fellow, Retina Specialist