I had laser surgery to repair a retinal tear around two years ago.
On my recent follow-up, the doctor told me I had been left with a small macular wrinkle. He said it's not affecting my vision and has remained stable. But, it needs to be watched.
Can you tell me how common this is and how worried I should be about it getting worse ? If it does get worse, what can be done, if anything, to avoid hospital surgery---e.g. can laser surgery forestall progression ?
1. ERM (epiretinal macular membranes) are common and can occur without out cause (idiopathic) or after laser or traditional surgery, inflammation, diabetes, injury etc.
2. You should be doing an amsler grid test weekly. If you were not given one call the Eye MD and ask for one and to be instructed on use.
3. There is nothing you can do.
4. Very few membranes get bad enough to do a surgical peeling.
5. Laser doesn't help
Thanks again. Hope you don't mind my rephrasing but I'm not clear since weekly testing to me implies a high risk and I'd been led to believe earlier that's not my situation. Let me ask--what's the probability my ERM will remain stable/get no worse ?
As for the grid test, they gave me one at the follow-up the other day, so I'm familiar with it. Also, I found a website where I could print a copy of the grid. Unless you think there's something I could miss without more instruction, I'll just administer it weekly at home without returning to the eye doctor before my next scheduled appointment.
One other thing. Is ERM considered macular degeneration ?
The answer to your first question is controversial. Some authorities (e.g., Dr. Steve Charles of Memphis--see his website for more information) believe that an epiretinal membrane develops over a period of about a month and then remains stable. Other authorities believe that an ERM may worsen months or even years after it first develops, although this type of progression is rare.
An epiretinal membrane is NOT the same condition as macular degeneration.
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