Although they may sound very similar, pretty much the only thing these two conditions have in common is that they affect the macula. In fact, in many ways, they are complete opposites.
Growth Versus Hole
A macular pucker might sound like it is making the shape of puckered lips with a hole in the middle, but really this describes the condition where scar tissue starts to grow over the macula. Because the center of the retina (which is used for your fine vision skills and attention to detail) is clouded with this scarring, it can often be hard to see.
Even if vision continues normally after the scar tissue forms, it won’t stay that way for long. The scar tissue, or the pucker, will grow. As it spreads, it also contracts, which makes the retina very wrinkled and distorted, leading to blurred vision.
So while it may initially sound like it is supposed to be a hole, this puckering just contracts and wrinkles the retina as opposed to ripping it.
A Hole in Your Vision
While a pucker is formed by scar tissue, a hole really is a hole. As the macula wears and the hole develops, many details in your vision will start to become fuzzy. Your peripheral vision is just fine, but the center will be blurry. This is another way in which a pucker and a hole are different. A pucker will narrow your scope of vision while a hole won’t change the outside border, but rather eat your vision from the inside out.
There is nothing that specifically causes these holes except old age. There is only one treatment available, which uses a bubble that is placed inside the eye to push the hole closed and to keep it closed. If done correctly, this will help the vision slowly return. Otherwise the hole will just continue to get worse and worse with time.
Now that you know the difference between a macular pucker and a macular hole, you might be able to tell which of these conditions might be ailing you. Come into our office to find out for sure!