Macular pucker is a condition affecting the vision. Also known as internal limiting membrane disease, it is a scar tissue that has formed on the eye's macula which is located in the center of the retina. The macula is responsible for generating sharp central vision and a macular pucker can cause blurred and distorted central vision during activities that require clear and fine s\central vision such as reading and driving. It is common to get macular pucker in one eye, however it may also affect the other eye as well.
Macular pucker is different from age-related macular degeneration, although the symptoms for each are similar. Usually people with macular pucker have blurred but stable central vision that does not get progressively worse.
People with a macular pucker may notice that their central vision is blurry or mildly distorted, and straight lines can appear wavy. They may have difficulty in seeing fine detail and reading small print. Macular pucker may cause a gray area in the center of your vision or even a blind spot.
A macular pucker usually requires no treatment as the symptoms of vision distortion and blurriness are mild in most cases. Sometimes the scar tissue which causes a macular pucker separates from the retina, and the macular pucker clears up. Moreover eye drops, medications, and nutritional supplements don’t improve vision distorted from macular pucker.
However in rare cases the vision is too blurred to normally perform daily routine activities. In such cases doctors recommend a surgical procedure called a vitrectomy. During this procedure, which is usually performed local anesthesia, the vitreous gel is removed to prevent it from pulling on the retina and replaced with a salt solution. The scar tissue which causes the wrinkling is also removed. After the surgery, the person is required to wear an eye patch for a few days or weeks to protect the eye.
Scientists are performing several macular pucker researches all round the world. Most of the current research studies are being conducted to determine new treatments for macular pucker. Physicians are trying to use of a surgical procedure in which scar tissue is peeled off without performing the usual procedure that is used for a macular pucker, called vitrectomy.
Another research is trying to explore chances of using a surgical technique called Fluidic Internal Limiting Membrane Separation (FILMS) which helps remove the internal limiting membrane for patients with both macular pucker and macular hole. After a vitrectomy, fluid is injected between the membrane and the retina that causes the membrane, along with the scar tissue, to lift away.
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