Epiretinal Membrane is a scar-like layer of tissue that can grow across the macula, obscuring vision and placing tension on the retina itself. An ERM can rarely be caused as a result of diabetes, but is more commonly a complication of vitreous syneresis (see Posterior Vitreous Detachment) that may occur in the eye as a result of ageing.
In most cases, a natural fluid will form between these areas of the retina and the vitreous with no adverse effects. However, in some cases, the retina begins a healing process in which a scar tissue is formed, causing a wrinkling of the retina. If this scar is formed over the macula, central vision becomes distorted and blurred.
Epiretinal membranes are primarily associated with ageing, however some eye diseases are also a trigger for an epiretinal membrane developing, such as a detached retina, uveitis (inflammation within the eye) and diabetes.
An epiretinal membrane as it appears on digital fundus photography.