Macular Pucker

A macular pucker is an extra layer of tissue that has formed on the eye’s macula. The macula is the central part of the retina and provides the sharp, central vision we need for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail.

What are the symptoms of a macular pucker?
Vision loss from a macular pucker can vary from no loss to severe loss, although severe vision loss is uncommon. People with a macular pucker may notice that their vision is blurry or mildly distorted, and straight lines can appear wavy. They may have difficulty in seeing fine detail and reading small print. There may be a gray area in the center of your vision, or perhaps even a blind spot.

What causes a macular pucker?
Most of the eye’s interior is filled with vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills most of the eye. As we age, the vitreous slowly shrinks and pulls away from the retinal surface. Sometimes when the vitreous pulls away from the retina, there is microscopic damage to the retina’s surface. When this happens, the retina begins a healing process to the damaged area and forms scar tissue, or an epiretinal membrane, on the surface of the retina. This scar tissue is firmly attached to the retina surface. When the scar tissue contracts, it causes the retina to wrinkle, or pucker, usually without any effect on central vision. However, if the scar tissue has formed over the macula, vision can be affected.

How is a macular pucker treated?
When vision is severely impacted, surgery may be warranted.