When we are young, the vitreous (the clear gel-like substance in the eye) is attached to the retina and macula. As we age, at some point in our lives, the vitreous will usually detach from the macula and the posterior retina, which is called a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). PVD can cause symptoms of floaters and flashes for a few weeks, but in most cases does not cause any major problems.
In some patients, there may be some remnant vitreous gel on the macula, and some of the cells grow and form a membrane, similar to scar tissue, over the surface of the retina. Over time, these membrane cells can contract and cause the retina to wrinkle (or pucker), affecting and distorting vision.
Epiretinal MembraneOptical coherence tomography (OCT) scan showing an epiretinal membrane causing distortion of the macula
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