What is Macular Pucker?

As you age, your eyes become more susceptible to various conditions. For people over 50, one such condition is the occurrence of a macular pucker. A macular pucker results from scar tissue emerging on the macula, which is responsible for the sharp, central vision needed for reading, driving, and other important tasks. According to the National Eye Institute, the scar tissue forms when fibers pull away from the retinal surface as a person ages. This pulling-away process can cause the retina to form scar tissue on the area.

If the area in question happens to be the macula, located at the center of the retina, the person’s central vision may become blurred when the scar tissue contracts and causes the macula to pucker (hence the name macular pucker). Not everyone with a macular pucker experiences a severe change in vision; however, it is possible that they may notice straight lines have become wavy. They may also have difficulty reading small print or even experience a blind spot. According to the National Eye Institute, most people with a macular pucker have it only in one eye and can adjust to the mild visual distortions. Because minor treatments like eye drops and medication do not help fix a macular pucker, only the most severe cases are treated with surgery.

During the surgery, the scar tissue is removed, and the fiber-filled gel (also known as the “vitreous”) in the eye is replaced with a salt solution to prevent further pulling on the retina. Like all vision-related surgeries, this one carries some risks, so be sure to talk to an ophthalmologist on your True Care Advantage plan about the right choice for you. Staying vigilant about your eyesight can help keep your vision sharp as you age, so don’t hesitate to ask questions and bring up any changes at your next appointment. (American Health Advantage)


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