A macular pucker can cause vision problems — from mild distortion to severe impairment — that affects your ability to drive or read. Ophthalmologist and retina specialist Ben Z. Cohen, MD, and the team at Retinal Ambulatory Surgery Center of New York diagnose and treat macular puckers at their location in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. If you notice changes to your central vision, call the office today.
The macula is an area located near the center of your retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye. The macula contains a high concentration of nerve cells that are essential for sharp central vision.
Also known as an epiretinal membrane or retinal wrinkle, a macular pucker is scar tissue that forms on the macula. Normally, your macula lies flat against the back of your eye. The pucker causes the macula to wrinkle, which may affect your central vision.
Most of the time, macular puckers result from age-related changes to the gel-like substance (vitreous) that fills your eye. As you age, the vitreous slowly shrinks and pulls away from the surface of your retina in a natural process called vitreous detachment.
Usually, vitreous detachment occurs without causing any problems. Sometimes, this process creates microscopic damage to the retina, which results in scar tissue as it heals. The scar tissue may contract and create a macular wrinkle or pucker. This is different from a macular hole, which involves an opening or tear in the macula.
Macular puckers may also develop for other reasons, including a retinal detachment or eye trauma.
Macular pucker symptoms vary depending on the severity of your condition. Common symptoms of a macular pucker include:
Mild symptoms of a macular pucker typically don’t require treatment. However, if your vision deteriorates badly enough to interfere with your daily life, the team at Retinal Ambulatory Surgery Center of New York can help.
Dr. Cohen and the team at Retinal Ambulatory Surgery Center of New York perform a surgical procedure called vitrectomy to treat macular puckers. During a vitrectomy, your surgeon removes the vitreous and then peels the pucker from your retina.
After they remove the abnormal tissue, your macula should resume its normal shape over the course of several weeks or months. Once your macula lies flat again, your vision should improve. You may notice continuous improvement for up to two years after surgery.
To learn more about treatment for macular puckers, call the Retinal Ambulatory Surgery Center of New York today at 212-772-6830.