What is the Function of the Macula?
The macula is where the most important images you see are created before they are sent along the optic nerve where they signal your brain to fully create your vision. The macula is super important because it is responsible for central vision whereas the remainder of the retina determines your peripheral vision. The macula provides straightforward, clear vision in fine detail. Your ability to read, drive a vehicle, watch television and distinguish people and objects is credited to the macula.
Only about 5mm in diameter and located in the center of the retina at the back of the eye, the function of the macula is to use its photoreceptor cells to absorb and detect light allowing the brain to interpret the images you see before you. Although small, the oval-shaped macula has a big job in supplying color vision to the eyes and producing 20/20 vision. The macula contains 6 clear subdivisions, including the umbo, foveola, foveal avascular zone, fovea, parafovea and perifovea areas. The macula itself is yellow in color, made possible by lutein and zeaxanthin in your diet. Because of its color, the macula absorbs excess blue and ultraviolet light that enters the eye acting as a protective sun blocker for the retina.
The most common cause of functional blindness in people over the age of 60 is macular degeneration, a deterioration or breakdown of the macula. Given how powerful the macula is and its necessity for healthy, clear vision, recognizing the signs and symptoms of a damaged macula are critical for preserving your eyesight. Early signs of damage to the macula begin with either a gradual or sudden change in normal vision wherein straight lines become wavy or distorted. Dramatic reduction to central vision is often a warning that the macula has been affected. Macular diseases are progressive and can lead to severe or permanent vision loss. These diseases include age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, macular edema, macular hole, macular pucker or eye floaters as well as other eye conditions.
Your eye health and vision clarity should be entrusted to the best. On behalf of our team, Associated Retina Consultants welcomes you to our full-service ophthalmology practice offering the latest in eye care research and technology. For quality care and answers to your eye related questions, set up an appointment by calling 602-242-4928 or visiting online at WEBSITE.