Who Is at Risk for Macular Pucker?
Submitted by Elman Retina Group on January 18, 2019
Macular pucker is an eye disease that occurs when the macula (the part of the retina responsible for central vision and fine detail) wrinkles or bulges as a result of scar tissue formation. A normal macula lies flat against the back of the eye to work properly. When the macula wrinkles or bulges, it affects the central vision. Some individuals do not experience symptoms while others may have difficulty seeing small details or may notice grayish color, cloudiness or even blank spots in their central vision.
Anyone can develop macular pucker. However, there are some individuals with a higher risk. Dr. Michael J. Elman, a trusted retina specialist serving patients in Baltimore and the surrounding area, discusses the risk factors for the disease in this blog post.
Aging is the most common cause of macular pucker. Over time, the vitreous — the clear, jelly-like substance in the center of the eye — shrinks and separates from the retina. In some cases, the tiny fibers that form the vitreous can tug at the retina and cause damage. This in turn stimulates the growth of scar tissue and leads to macular pucker. According to the American Society of Retina Specialists, 2 percent of individuals over age 50 have symptoms of macular pucker while 20 percent of individuals over age 75 have symptoms.
Individuals with Other Retinal Conditions
Individuals who have a history of other eye conditions, especially those that affect the retina, also have an increased risk of developing macular pucker. These conditions include:
- Posterior vitreous detachment
- Torn or detached retina
- Swelling inside of the eye
- Inflammation in the eye
- Trauma or injury to the eye
- Problems with blood vessels in the retina
If you have been diagnosed with macular pucker, Dr. Elman urges you to seek treatment. The internationally renowned retina specialist offers a full range of treatment options at his Baltimore practice. He can recommend a non-surgical treatment, surgery or a combination of the two based on your symptoms and the severity of your condition.