Macular Pucker

What is Macular Pucker?

The eye is much like a camera. The front of the eye contains a lens that focuses images on the inside of the back of the eye. This area, called the retina, is covered with special nerve cells that react to light. These nerve cells are very close together in the middle of the retina where the eye focuses the images that we see. This small part of the retina is called the macula.

The macula normally lies flat against the inside back surface of the eye. Sometimes cells can grow on the inside of the eye contracting and pulling on the macula. Occasionally, an injury or medical condition creates strands of scar tissue inside the eye. These are called epiretinal membranes, and they can pull on the macula.

When this pulling makes the macula wrinkle, it is called macular pucker. In some eyes, this will have little effect on vision, but in others it can be significant leading to distorted vision.

Why do people get Macular Pucker?

Sometimes macular pucker is the result of an injury or a medical condition, such as diabetes, that affects the eye. Epiretinal membranes can sometimes form after eye surgery. The cause of most cases of macular pucker is not known. Unfortunately, it just seems to happen.

How will your doctor know if have Macular Pucker?

It is not unusual for someone to have epiretinal membranes and still have normal vision. The membranes tend to change with time, however, and the following symptoms can appear:

  • The ability to see fine details when one is looking directly at an object, no matter how close or far away it is, starts to decline.
  • Vision changes so that straight lines look wavy or broken.