A macular pucker is scar tissue that has formed on the eye’s macula, located in the center of the light-sensitive tissue called the retina. The macula provides the sharp, central vision we need for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail. A macular pucker can cause blurred and distorted central vision.
Macular pucker is also known as epiretinal membrane, preretinal membrane, cellophane maculopathy, retina wrinkle, surface wrinkling retinopathy, premacular fibrosis, and internal limiting membrane disease.
Although both have similar symptoms – distorted and blurred vision – macular pucker and a macular hole are different conditions. They both result from tugging on the retina from a shrinking vitreous. When the vitreous separates from the retina, usually as part of the aging process, it can cause microscopic damage to the retina. As the retina heals itself, the resulting scar tissue can cause a macular pucker. Rarely, a macular pucker will develop into a macular hole. An eye care professional can readily tell the difference between macular pucker and macular hole.
Vision loss from a macular pucker can vary from no loss to severe loss, although severe vision loss is uncommon. People with a macular pucker may notice that their vision is blurry or mildly distorted, and straight lines can appear wavy. They may have difficulty in seeing fine detail and reading small print. There may be a gray area in the center of your vision, or perhaps even a blind spot.
A macular pucker usually requires no treatment. In many cases, the symptoms of vision distortion and blurriness are mild, and no treatment is necessary. People usually adjust to the mild visual distortion, since it does not affect activities of daily life, such as reading and driving. Neither eye drops, medications, nor nutritional supplements will improve vision distorted from macular pucker. Sometimes the scar tissue–which causes a macular pucker–separates from the retina, and the macular pucker clears up.