All portions of the retina contribute to sight, but the center area of the retina is responsible for color vision and fine central vision. The macular region contains a very different retinal configuration. In this region, the retina is thinned, especially towards the center of the macula (the fovea). The purpose of this foveal thinning is to permit greater light absorption. An aspect of the fovea is the absence of blood vessels over the photoreceptors which contributes to the high degree of visual acuity found in the macular region because the light path to the photoreceptors is less hindered. Comparatively, the vascularization in the rest of the macula is very dense, creating the potential for many vascular related diseases.
One of the most common macular diseases is macular degeneration, a progressive disease which is primarily a disease of the elderly, but can also be found in younger age groups. For information on macular degeneration, click here.
The EyeCyclopedia is a collection of eye care terminology created by
practicing optometrists and ophthalmologists. The information provided is not intended
to be a substitute for regular medical care or to diagnose or treat
any medical condition, and should be used only as a supplemental source of information.
Please consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your eye health.