Your ability to read, drive, or focus on things straight in front of you is governed by the macula in your retina. When there’s a problem, such as a macular hole or pucker, it can impact your eyesight to varying degrees. At Retina Specialists of Colorado, Dr. Ross Chod has extensive experience helping his patients in Aurora, Colorado, overcome these macular problems through cutting-edge laser surgeries that repair their maculae. To learn more about macular repair, call the office or use the online scheduling tool.
Your macula is a light-sensitive area in your retina that’s located directly in front of your optic nerve and is largely responsible for your central vision. A macular hole, as the name implies, is a hole in this tissue that’s caused when your vitreous (the gel-like substance that makes up the bulk of your eye) naturally begins to shrink and tears your retina. As a result, fluid is able to come in through the hole and affect your vision.
Macular holes typically develop with age and are most commonly found in people over the age of 60. Macular holes usually occur in one eye, but they can affect both eyes 10-15% of the time.
When you have scar tissue on your macula, it’s called a macular pucker. This scar tissue forms in the wake of your vitreous pulling away from your retina causing microscopic tears to develop, and as your retina heals, your body creates scar tissue. This tissue can, in turn, pull on your retina, which is what creates the “pucker.”
Yes. While the two conditions stem from the same action — your vitreous pulling away from your retina — they represent different results. In fact, a macular pucker doesn’t necessarily lead to a hole.
The best way to find out which one is at the heart of your vision problems is to see Dr. Chod for an evaluation.
If Dr. Chod diagnoses a macular pucker, he often waits to see how the pucker will ultimately affect your vision before recommending any treatment. In many cases, the vision problems that come from a pucker aren’t significant and don’t represent a large enough problem to warrant surgery. In fact, in some cases, it resolves itself on its own as the scar tissue clears up. If, however, the pucker greatly affects your vision, you may be a candidate for a surgery called a vitrectomy.
For a macular hole, Dr. Chod does usually recommend a vitrectomy to improve your vision. The surgery is an extremely delicate procedure, which requires the expertise of a retina specialist. During the surgery, Dr. Chod removes your vitreous and replaces it with a bubble of air and gas to hold your macula in place while it heals. As your eye absorbs the bubble, natural eye fluids fill the space.
To learn more about repairing a macular hole or macular pucker, call Retina Specialists of Colorado, or request an appointment by filling out the online form.