An epiretinal membrane occurs when the gel-like vitreous in the eye becomes more liquid and exerts an abnormal pull on the retina. This results in small pieces of retina breaking away from the inner wall of the eye.
When some vitreous remains on the macula, it stimulates the formation of scar tissue, or the growth of a thin membrane over the retina. Over time, these membrane cells contract and cause the retina to wrinkle, distorting vision. Deterioration of the vitreous can also cause other problems such as floaters and flashes, retinal tears, vitreomacular traction and retinal detachment.
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