This is a fairly common disorder in older people. The commonest form occurs after the development of a posterior vitreous detachment, where cells in the substance of the retina gain access to the retinal surface. They then grow across the surface of the retina and lay down scar tissue which may contract to a varying degree in different individuals. It may cause symptoms such as blurring of the central vision, or distortion of the vision in that eye. (wavy lines; bigger or smaller image)
Consultation and OCT (optical coherence tomogram) scanning are required to correctly diagnose the condition and observe the severity of the condition. Please note that blurring of central vision and distortion are not specific to ERM , but may be caused by a number of other conditions. ( Macular hole; diabetic maculopathy; AMD)
We will discuss the severity of the ERM with you and depending on its severity, surgery may or may not be offered. Many people have ERMs diagnosed at an early stage and in these cases, observation is advised. Surgery is done in hospital, and may involve the injection of an ocular tamponade (intra-ocular gases) which will limit travel to altitiude for their duration in the eye. This will be discussed with you at the consultation. Recovery of vision is slow and may take a number of months.