What is a macular pucker?
A macular pucker is a type of scar tissue that forms on the macula and can cause distortion or blurry central vision.
What is the macula?
The majority of the interior of an eye is filled with a vitreous substance that helps maintain the shape. The macula is located in the center of the retina and is responsible for seeing fine details.
How does macular pucker form?
The primary cause of a macular pucker is age.
As we age, the vitreous substance pulls away from the retina, which is usually harmless to the surface of the retina.
This pulling away can spark a healing process in which the retina tries to heal the damage, sometimes forming scar tissue over the damaged area on the surface of the retina. This scar tissue is referred to as an epiretinal membrane, and is firmly attached. When the scar contracts, it pulls the retinal tissue into a contraction, which causes the retina surface to wrinkle.
This wrinkle is referred to as a pucker, and sometimes these puckers don’t have any effect on a person’s central vision.
If the scar tissue forms a dense pucker, then it impacts a person’s ability to focus, and the result is a blur or distortion in your vision.
Other possible causes of macular puckers include serious eye disorders like retinal detachment or diabetic retinopathy, surgical trauma, physical injuries, and uveitis (eye inflammation).
A macular pucker can cause no loss of vision or it (they) can cause a significant loss.
Eye drops, vitamins/nutritional supplements, and medications will not assist any conditions resulting from an epiretinal membrane, so if treatment is needed, vitrectomy surgery is the only option, which surgically removes the scar tissue.
If you are noticing a combination of symptoms such as blurry vision, mild distortion, a gray spot in the middle of your vision, difficulty making out fine detail, a blind spot, trouble reading small print, or the appearance of wavy lines where they should be firmly straight, then you may be experiencing the symptoms of a macular pucker or other serious macular disease.
An ophthalmologist at the Fort Lauderdale Eye Institute will be able to accurately diagnose whether you are experiencing a macular pucker, a macular hole, age-related macular degeneration, or some other serious condition, as well as discuss your diagnostic assessment in great detail.
We have several board-certified fellowship-trained retina specialists who can treat these problems with the latest technology and techniques.
It is very important to get the proper assessment from an eye specialist in order to determine the extent of the damage and make an informed decision about treatment options.