A macular pucker is scar tissue that has formed on the macula, the part of the retina that provides sharp, central vision. Common symptoms include blurry vision and vision loss. The symptoms are similar to those of other eye conditions (such as macular degeneration), and an eye exam is needed to make a firm diagnosis. The exact causes of this condition are not known, but risk factors include a detached retina, vitreous pulling, and diabetic retinopathy.
What Is a Macular Pucker?
A macular pucker is scar tissue that has formed on the eye's macula, which is located in the center of the eye's light-sensitive tissue called the retina. The macula provides the sharp, central vision we need for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail. A macular pucker can cause blurred and distorted central vision.
Understanding the Eye
In order to understand a macular pucker, it is helpful to understand the parts of your eye involved with sight. These structures include the cornea, iris, pupil, lens, macula, and retina.
Your cornea is a thin, clear layer on the outside of your eye. The iris, or the colored part of your eye, is a muscle that controls the amount of light going through your pupil -- the round opening in the center of your eye. Behind the iris sits the lens, which is just larger than your pupil. The iris is enclosed by a thin, clear capsule that holds the lens in its proper place.
When light enters your eye, the cornea and lens form the light rays into a beam of light that is focused directly onto your retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The retina instantly converts light, or an image, into electrical impulses. The retina then sends these impulses, or nerve signals, to the brain through the optic nerve. The optic nerve is a bundle of more than one million nerve fibers connecting the retina to the brain.
The macula is located in the center of the retina. It is made up of millions of light-sensing cells that help to produce central vision.
Most of the eye's interior is filled with vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills about 80 percent of the eye and helps it maintain a round shape. The vitreous contains millions of fine fibers that are attached to the surface of the retina.