Macular pucker and macular hole are two problems affecting the part of your eye that controls your central vision. At Mile High Retina located in Denver, Colorado, board-certified ophthalmologist and retina surgeon Mark E. Patron, MD offers patient-centered care that always puts your ocular health and vision first. Arrange your appointment by calling the office today.
Macular pucker, or epiretinal membrane (ERM), is a fine layer of scar tissue atop the macula, the part of your retina that controls central vision. During an eye exam, a mild macular pucker may appear like a thin sheet of cellophane. A serious macular pucker may appear more distorted with significant wrinkling.
Macular hole is a full-thickness opening through the exact center of your macula.
Macular puckers and macular holes may not cause immediate, obvious symptoms, but they can eventually cause central visual distortion and blurriness. These conditions can make it difficult to read, drive, and do other routine activities.
Macular puckers and macular holes both occur as a result of age-related changes to the vitreous, the gel that fills the back of your eye.
Macular puckers often develop following a posterior vitreous detachment, or separation of the gel from the retina, when cells that are normally present in the back of the eye begin to grow on the retinal surface.
Macular holes may form if your vitreous exerts a considerable force on the retina as the gel attempts to pull away from the retina.
At Mile High Retina, Dr. Patron performs a dilated eye exam and uses advanced imaging systems including spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT), Optos ultra wide-field (UWF™) retinal imaging, and fluorescein angiography.
These specialized images can show even the most microscopic changes in your macula, allowing Dr. Patron to make an accurate diagnosis.
Treatment depends on the severity of the pucker or hole and how the condition affects your eyesight.
Some mild macular puckers do not necessarily require action beyond close monitoring if you do not have troublesome symptoms. If your vision deteriorates significantly enough due to macular pucker disrupting your regular activities, Dr. Patron may recommend vitrectomy and membrane peeling surgery. In this procedure, he removes your vitreous humor along with any scar tissue.
Macular holes more often require surgical treatment. To repair a macular hole, vitrectomy and membrane peeling surgery is performed with the addition of a temporary gas bubble that acts as an internal bandage to help bring the edges of the macular hole together.
If you have a macular hole or pucker, do not wait to get vision-saving treatment. Call Mile High Retina today.