Eye Care Expert Forum
Epiretinal membrane peel
About This Forum:

Our Ask-A-Doctor Eye Care Forum is where you can post your question and receive a personal answer from physicians affiliated with the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Epiretinal membrane peel

I have been told I need an epiretinal membrane peel (membranectomy) and vitrectomy. The diagnosis is based on fluoroangiography. I do seem to have symptoms matching the macular pucker. Before I rush into surgery (supposedly the most delicate eye surgery there is), is there any other potential cause for these symptoms?
Related Discussions
233488_tn?1310696703
Epi-retinal membranes are extremely common, often assymptomatic and frequently the cause is idiopathic (that means we just don't know what causes it).  Generally the condition is followed with frequent Amsler Grid testing of each eye (at least weekly).

Surgery is genrally not done unless the distortion and reduction of visual acuity is significant. HOWEVER if the ophthalmologist (Eye MD) sees a macular hole developing then surgery may be recommended earlier to prevent the macular hole from getting wider and deeper.

JCH III MD  Eye MD
6 Comments
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Even if the diagnosis is correct, surgery to peel an epiretinal membrane is by no means mandatory.  Actually, no treatment is indicated in the majority of cases of ERM.  Reading your post, I get the feeling that you're being pushed in the direction of surgery.  I'd strongly suggest that you get a second opinion before proceeding.  Doing some research about  the condition would probably also be helpful.  If you do have an ERM, it wouldn't hurt to take your time before making a decision about what your best course of action would be.  
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks much for the response. Actually, I knew the ERM was idiopathic. What I am wondering about is the cause of the symptoms, which not only include the blurry vision and seeing as if through cellophane in the left eye, etc, but almost constant devastating headaches when I use my eyes for reading. So I am not being pushed by doctors, but by the symptoms. I just wonder if there could be something else that could cause these same symptoms.

Thanks again for your time and concern.

Musicteacher
Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
ERM used to be called "cellophane maculopathy", that's what it looks like to the Eye MD and that's what it looks like to the patient. So blurred and distorted vision is the most common symptom.

Headaches are very unusual. Try putting a patch over the bad eye and reading. That should relieve the headaches if the ERM is the cause.

If it does relieve the pain your headache may be due to the effort to maintain fusion and convergence with near tasks. Your options then would be put up with it, patch one eye when reading or try reading glasses with base out prism to lesson the work you eyes do with near tasks.

JCH III MD
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your responses. Will investigate further and try the patch. The reading glasses would be a problem as I already wear prescription lenses.

Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
If the tests indicate reading glasses might work then when you sit down to read or use a computer or do near tasks for a while, you would take off your perscription glasses and put the reading glasses on,  You would not do this everytime you read only for prolonged periods that cause your symptoms.

JCH III MD
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, epiretinal membrane was started.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, epi-retanal membrane was started.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
233488_tn?1310696703
John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
Discover Vision Centers of Kansas City
Kansas City, MO
1991824_tn?1331936603
William Goldstein, MDBlank
William S. Goldstein, MD
Shelby Township, MI
711220_tn?1251894727
Ray T Oyakawa, MDBlank
Sharper Vision Centers
Torrance, CA
1731421_tn?1358826971
Timothy D McGarity, M.D.Blank
Timothy D. McGarity, M.D. P.C.
Columbia, MO
2078052_tn?1331936700
Doreen Fazio, M.D.Blank
Amerisight Institute and Valley Eye Center
Van Nuys, CA
1573381_tn?1296151159
Houman Vosoghi, MDBlank
Valley Eye Center/Darin Eye Center
Van Nuys, CA
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
How to Silence Your Inner Critic an...
Apr 16 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eaters: How to Silence Yo...
Mar 26 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
1344197_tn?1392822771
Blank
Vaginal vs. Laparoscopic Hysterecto...
Feb 19 by J. Kyle Mathews, MD, DVMBlank