Macular Pucker

(aslo called Epiretinal Membrane, Cellophane Maculopathy, or Surface Wrinkling Retinopathy)

The macula refers to the central portion of the retinal that is responsible for fine focus visual acuity. Visual images are focused by the cornea and the lens on to the macula. From the macula the visual information is sent via the optic nerve to the brain, where it is interpreted as sight. In patients with Macular Pucker, a thin, cellophane-like pice of tissue grows on top of the macula and distorts the visual signals that are sent to the brain. Patients often experience central distortions to their central vision (straight lines appear wavy or with gaps).

Macular puckers can develop due to injury to eye, previous eye surgery, prior uveitis (inflammation int he eye) or diabetic retinopathy. In the majority of patients with macular puckers, there is no identifiable underlying cause.

Surgery is the only known treatment option for macular puckers, but injection of steroids into the eye may decrease the severity of symptoms.

Patients can monitor their symptoms by using an Amsler Grid to track their distortions and monitor for subtle changes.