A macular pucker is the result of
scar tissue that contracts and creates a
wrinkle or pucker on the macula which
may affect your vision.

What is a Macular Pucker?

A macular pucker is scar tissue on the eye's macula, which is located in the center of the retina—your eye's light-sensitive tissue. As we grow older, the thick vitreous gel in the middle of our eyes begins to shrink and pull away from the macula. Sometimes, as the vitreous pulls away, it causes microscopic damage to the surface of the retina (this is different than a macular hole).

In order to heal itself, the retina forms scar tissue, or an epiretinal membrane, on the retina's surface. When that scar tissue contracts, it creates a wrinkle, or pucker, usually without any effect on your central vision. However, if the scar tissue is located on the macula, your sharp central vision becomes blurred and distorted or you may notice a blind spot in the center of your vision. The good news is that for most people with a macular pucker, vision does not get progressively worse. And usually a pucker affects only one eye, although it may affect the other eye later.

If you notice a change in your vision, contact your board-certified Retina Specialist at Retina Vitreous Associates for a consultation.

Other terms for Macular Pucker

  • Epiretinal membrane
  • Preretinal membrane
  • Cellophane maculopathy
  • Retina wrinkle
  • Surface-wrinkling retinopathy
  • Premacular fibrosis
  • Internal limiting membrane disease

What is the difference between a Macular Pucker and a Macular Hole?

A macular pucker and a macular hole are different conditions, although they both occur when a shrinking vitreous pulls on the retina and both cause similar symptoms (distorted, blurred vision). When the "pulling" causes microscopic damage, the retina lays down scar tissue to heal itself; a macular pucker can be the result. If the shrinking vitreous pulls too hard, it can tear the retina, creating a macular hole, which is more serious. A macular pucker will not become a macular hole.