Postoperative cataract surgery complications: cystoid macular oedema and epiretinal membrane

8 February 2023
Winter 2023

Kathryn Marshall MCOptom, an optometrist working in community practice in Scotland, describes the surgical complications that can lead to reduced visual outcomes.


In July 2021, a 70-year-old female patient attended a routine eye examination, reporting a gradual decrease in vision both for distance and near in both eyes. She was a driver and a non-smoker and otherwise asymptomatic.

  • General health: high blood pressure (well controlled), osteoporosis, breast cancer. No known allergies.
  • Ocular history: no previous hospital eye service (HES) visits.
  • Meds: statin (name unknown), amlodipine, letrozole and risedronic acid.
  • Family history: nil relevant issues.
  • Refraction and best corrected visual acuity (VA): 
  • Right eye (RE) +3.00/-0.50×90, 6/12, Add +2.75, N4.5 at 30cm.
  • Left eye (LE) +2.75/-1.00×50, 6/12, Add +2.75, N.6 at 30cm.
  • Pinhole testing showed no improvement in VA in either eye.

Sign in to continue

Forgotten password?

Not already a member of The College?

Start enjoying the benefits of College membership today. Take a look at what the College can offer you and view our membership categories and rates.

Related further reading

The General Optical Council (GOC) has presented a draft response to its call for evidence on the need for change to the Opticians Act (1989) and the consultation on associated GOC policies to its Council.

Members have been invited to have their say on the Guidance for Professional Practice - updated once every three years.

We are saddened to read reports that hundreds of patients have lost their sight completely, or had it irreparably damaged because of NHS backlogs in England.