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The macula is part of the retina that is responsible for the fine-detailed vision, which we use for reading, watching television and recognizing faces. When the macula develops a hole or opening, it causes a blind spot or blurred area directly in that central vision.
Most macular holes develop due to the natural aging process. However, sometimes injury or long-term swelling can also cause a macular hole. There are no specific medical problems that are known to cause macular holes.
We all have a gel-like substance called vitreous that fills much of the eye and also helps to maintain its shape and hold the retina in place. When the vitreous ages and shrinks it can pull on the thin tissue of the macula causing a tear which can then form a small hole.
The most common treatment available for macular holes is vitrectomy surgery. In some other cases, no treatment is necessary and simply monitoring the condition is sufficient.
A macular pucker (also called an Epiretinal Membrane) is a layer of scar tissue that grows on the surface of the retina. This layer of scar tissue that forms causes this important part of our central vision to blur or become distorted. For most patients however, vision remains stable and does not get progressively worse. Macular pucker usually affects one eye but can affect the other later.
A macular pucker usually requires no treatment and in many cases the symptoms of vision distortion and blurriness are mild. However, in certain cases where vision deteriorates to a point where it affects daily routine activities, vitrectomy surgery is required. To learn more about vitrectomy surgery, click here.