The Retina Centers of Washington

  Contact : (301) 279-9123 , Fax: (301) 279-6828

Macular pucker

Macular puckering, also known as an epiretinal membrane, is the presence of a thin cellophane-like scar tissue over the surface of the macula, the portion of the retina that corresponds to an individual’s central field of vision. It forms most often from aging changes which occur to the vitreous, the gel which occupies the compartment of the eye where the retina is located. When the vitreous separates from the retina (please see the section on posterior vitreous detachment), most of the time the process occurs uneventfully. Sometimes, however, cells related to the vitreous may remain on the macula after the vitreous has separated. Over time, these cells can proliferate and form a macular pucker. This condition can also occur due to traumatic or inflammatory conditions of the eye. The presence of macular pucker may distort the contour of the macula.



Side by side OCT photo of normal macula and ERM


In many circumstances, macular puckering does not significantly affect vision and may even be unnoticed to the individual affected. However, significant distortion of the contour of the macula may make the vision blurry or distorted. Some patients note metamorphopsia, where lines that are straight may look wavy to the affected eye.

The treatment of macular pucker consists of observation in a majority of cases. In more severe cases where significant blurring of vision or metamorphopsia develops and affects activities of daily living, a surgery called a vitrectomy is performed to improve the contour of the macula over time.



Retina Centers of Washington COVID-19 Safety Protocol

Dear Valued Patients and Friends,

We are truly grateful for the love and support you’ve provided us over the past few months as we navigated through the pandemic. With your continued support, we have been able to stay open, through this entire pandemic, to treat our patients' essential eye care needs. 

The safety of our patients, and our staff members, is our top priority; therefore, we have implemented safety protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

Here are some of our new safety procedures that are currently in place for when you visit our office(s).

Prior to Your Appointment:

·  You will be pre-screened over the phone when scheduling your appointment.

·  If you have symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, we ask that you call and reschedule your appointment.

·  If you have been exposed to anyone with the virus, we ask that you call and reschedule your appointment. 

·  We will minimize the number of people in the practice (please come alone unless there is a true need for someone to accompany you).

·  We request that anyone accompanying you to wait safely in their car, unless it is truly necessary for them to come into your appointment with you. We truly appreciate your cooperation on this.

Once You arrive:

·  We are requiring all patients to arrive wearing a mask (we will provide one if needed), and that it is properly worn through the entire visit. 

·  We will check your temperature upon your arrival.

·  We request that patients use hand sanitizer upon arrival and departure of our office.

·  We have reduced the number of chairs in the waiting area to respect physical distance protocol.

·  All magazines and brochures have been removed.

Staff and Strict Cleaning Protocols:

·  We complete daily prescreening for COVID symptoms for Staff, and Doctors. 

·  All Staff members will be using PPE and wearing masks at all times, including our providers. A face shield and gloves will be worn as needed.

·  Our staff regularly performs surface cleaning of frequently touched areas throughout the day.

·  Our waiting room, exam rooms, testing equipment, and other common areas are cleaned and sterilized after every patient appointment.

We thank you for your patience with all these changes, and for your cooperation as we continue to safely navigate through the pandemic. If you have any questions, please contact our office at 301-279-9124 and we will be glad to help you!