The macula is the center of the retina, the nerve layer in the back of the eye that captures focused light images. The macula is responsible for our central detail vision, allowing us to see detail necessary for reading, watching television, driving, and recognizing faces. As we age, a thin layer of scar tissue, known as an epimacular membrane grows over the surface of the macula.
Symptoms of Macular Pucker
While most membranes do not cause any significant change in vision, in some people it begins to contract causing wrinkling, or puckering, or the macular surface. While it is not known why most membranes form, less common causes of epimacular membranes include prior eye surgery and trauma. As puckering progresses, symptoms can include blurry and distorted vision.
The Treatments for Macular Pucker
In those patients who are experiencing little or no visual symptoms only periodic exams and OCT imaging of the macula are warranted. However, if visual symptoms worsen, a small procedure, called a Vitrectomy surgery can be performed to remove the membrane and allow the retina and vision to return to a more normal state. While the macula may take months to reach its full visual potential, patients often return to everyday activities within the week after surgery.
If you are experiencing a decline in seeing fine details or objects or if you notice straight lines looking wavy or broken, you may have a macular pucker.