Macular Pucker Surgery
Macular pucker (also knows as Epiretinal Membrane or ERM) happens when wrinkles, creases or bulges form on your macula. The macula must lie flat against the back of your eye to work properly. When the macula wrinkles or bulges, your central vision is affected. With macular pucker, things can look wavy, or you may have trouble seeing details. You might notice a gray or cloudy area in your central vision. You may even have a blank spot in your central vision.
Aging is the most common risk factor for macular pucker. People who have other eye problems may also get a macular pucker.
Causes of MP
Age is the most common cause of macular pucker. As you get older, the vitreous begins to shrink and pull away from the retina. People who have other eye problems may also get a macular pucker. These problems include:
- Vitreous detachment, where the eye’s vitreous pulls away from the retina
- Torn or detached retina
- Swelling inside the eye
- Serious damage to the eye (from surgery or injury)
- Problems with blood vessels in the retina
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Macular pucker is diagnosed through a dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist and can be confirmed using optical coherence tomography (OCT). With OCT, a machine scans the back of your eye. This provides very detailed pictures of the retina and macula. If symptoms are severe the best course of action will be to get macular pucker surgery.
If your symptoms are mild, you might not need any treatment. Instead, you may need to change your glasses or contact lens prescription to improve your vision. Eye drops, medicine, and laser surgery do not help vision if you have macular pucker. Macular pucker surgery called vitrectomy is the best way to treat macular pucker patients with severe symptoms. We remove the vitreous gel that is pulling on your macula and scar tissue on your macula. This flattens the macula, returning it to its proper position. It is likely your vision will slowly improve. However, your sight may not be as good as it was before macular pucker.
The retina is the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of our eye. The retina converts the light rays into impulses that travel through the optic nerve to our brain, where they are interpreted as the images we see.
Macular hole is when a tear or opening forms in your macula. As the hole forms, things in your central vision will look blurry, wavy or distorted.
Macular pucker (also knows as Epiretinal Membrane or ERM) happens when wrinkles, creases or bulges form on your macula.
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Dr. Malihi is board certified in Ophthalmology and a fellow member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS), Oregon Academy of Ophthalmology (OAO) and the American Academy of Facial Esthetics (AAFE) . He is the founder of NELSI, INC., an eye care center in Portland, Oregon.
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