What we call macular pucker, otherwise also known as epiretinal membrane is actually a layer of scar tissue that is on the surface of the retina. Most particularly on the macula which is the part of your eye responsible for detailed and central vision.
A small area at the centre of your eye’s retina, the macula allows you to see fine details in a clear fashion. Your retina is a layer of light-sensing cells which is lining the back of your eye. When light enters the eye, your retina converts the rays into signals and these are sent through the optic nerve to your brain. Here in the brain it gets recognised as images. If you experience damage in your macula, you will have blurred central vision. This will make it difficult for you to perform tasks that require you to focus a great deal, like reading small print or even threading a needle.
The problem of macular pucker could lead to vision loss, which may vary from being no loss to severe loss. But the good news is that severe loss if uncommon.
If you have macular pucker then you will notice the following symptoms:
• Blurry vision
• Mildly distorted vision
• Straight lines could appear to you as wavy
• There will be difficulty in seeing fine details
• Also difficulty in reading small prints
• Gray area at the centre of your vision
• There could also be a blind spot
Q1. Is age-related macular degradation and macular pucker the same thing?
They are not the same thing, and are quite distinctly different in fact. But, you should know that the symptoms for each are similar. You can ask an eye care professional for the differences between the two of them.
Q2. Is there a possibility for macular pucker to get worse?
Most people with macular pucker have stable vision and it does not get worse progressively. The macular pucker is usually found to affect one eye, but there are chances that the other one might get affected too.
Q3. Is macular pucker and macular hole the same thing?
The two of them have similar symptoms, such as distorted and blurred vision, but these are different conditions. They result from tugging on the retina when the vitreous shrinks. As the vitreous separates from your retina due to ageing, it can cause microscopic damage to your retina. As the retina heals itself over time the resulting scar tissue causes a macular pucker. It is a rare occurrence when the macular pucker develops into a macular hole.
You can opt for surgery to heal macular pucker, though you should realise that it is a very delicate process. Visions have been found to improve in most cases, but it does not return to normal. About half of the vision which is lost from a macular pucker gets restored in most cases. The vision distortion is also significantly reduced.
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