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What does an epiretinal membrane over the macular area mean?

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An epiretinal membrane over the macular area means that scar tissue has developed of the macula of the eye, according to the National Institutes of Health. The macula is the center of the retina and is responsible for the sharpness of a person's central vision.

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Sharp, central vision is needed for close-in work such as sewing or reading, claims the NIH.

An epiretinal membrane is also called a macular pucker, says the NIH. It is an age-related condition that occurs when the vitreous humor that fills much of the eye starts to shrink and detach from the retina, to which it's normally attached through many tiny fibers. Often, this simply results in annoying but harmless floaters in the person's field of vision.

However, sometimes when the vitreous starts to detach, it damages the retina slightly, which results in scarring as the retina heals, claims the NIH. If the scar tissue is over the macula, it may cause distorted and blurry vision when it starts to shrink. This is usually not severe but simply annoying, like floaters.

Rarely, the loss or distortion of vision is so severe that the patient seeks treatment, says the NIH. This treatment involves surgery, for neither eye drops, supplements nor medications can reverse a macular pucker.

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