Also referred to as retina wrinkle, premacular fibrosis or surface wrinkling retinopathy, macular pucker is a term used to describe the scar tissue that forms around the macula of the eye. The purpose of the macula is to provide us with the accurate vision we need for fine details and for performing complex tasks like driving. The macular pucker has many implications and signs, and one of them is blurred central vision.
Generally, the macula should lie flat against the back of your eye, but when it wrinkles or starts to swell, your vision will automatically become distorted and blurry. It is not uncommon for some patients to even have a blind spot right in their central vision. Basically, the macula is a very small area located right in the center of your eye’s retina.The retina has light-sensitive cells located in the back of your eye, and it is the purpose of the retina to convert the sun rays and light into signals and then send them to your brain through the optic nerve, where they are being processed and recognized as picture. If damage to your macula occurs, the central vision is blurred and the
patient will be unable to perform tasks that require attention to detail.
As you may already know, there is a substance called vitreous inside our eye: this is similar to gel, and it helps the eye maintain its shape. Throughout the year, the vitreous slowly starts to shrink and this is a perfectly normal process that seldom has side effects, apart from the vitreous detachment. Some signs can include specks that suddenly appear in your vision field. On the other hand, if this gel-like substance pulls away from your eye’s retina, retina damage can occur and when it starts to heal, this leads to star therefore causing the retina to slightly wrinkle in the long run.
Causes Of Macular Pucker
As mentioned above, vitreous detachment is one of the most common causes. Uveitis, trauma, age or various retinal blood vessel disorders can also be the culprit behind the macular pucker. On the other hand, retinal detachment and diabetes retinal disease can also trigger macular pucker if left untreated.
Common Signs And Symptoms of Macular Pucker
The symptoms associated with macular pucker can range greatly, from mild to severe. Generally speaking, this disease affects one eye and it can cause a certain degree of vision loss. One particularly important aspect is that the macular pucker does not interfere with your side vision, and that those who suffer from this condition experience stable vision loss, which means that it does not deteriorate in time.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms that should raise concern include blurred vision, the distortion of straight lines (if a perfectly straight line appears wavy, then you might suffer from macular pucker), difficulty seeing fine details or a gray area located in the center of your vision.
Macular Pucker Surgery
Given the fact that the vision blurriness is usually mild and it does not interfere with the patient’s day to day activities, macular pucker generally does not require treatment. However, if the blurriness or visual distortion are intense and they prevent you from driving or reading, then you might need surgery to treat macular pucker. In a nutshell, this is a complex eye surgery that supposes the removal of the vitreous gel, to prevent retina scar tissue.
This is a delicate process and the success rate of the surgery is satisfactory, as the vision improves considerably after the intervention. However, it is unlikely to have your vision 100% restored after surgery, and the results vary from one patient to another. The results should be visible three months after the surgery, when the area is completely reduced. Those who suffer from macular pucker are advised to get this surgery to prevent blurriness from interfering with the vision of the good eye.
Risks Associated With Macular Pucker Surgery
Like any other surgery, the vitrectomy (the procedure mentioned above) does carry some risks, and the increased rate of developing cataract is one of them. Additional complications may include infection, retinal detachment or even the regrowth of the macular pucker, although the latter is very unlikely. However, our eye surgeon Dr. Cheryl Lee uses a special operating technique to prevent the patient from having to go under the knife again, to treat cataract in the near future. Consult our eye doctor today!