What is macula? The macula is located near the central portion of the human eye retina that is described as a yellowish oval shaped spot that is highly pigmented. The macula enables the eye to view detailed central vision that is sharp, to perceive colours and to carry out tasks like reading that is tasks that require central vision.
The macula consists of two ganglion cell layers and at the centre it comprises of the fovea. The fovea is a pit made up of cone cells and has no rods; the fovea’s function is to ensure that the eye provides a central vision of a high resolution. The fovea is also responsible for individuals colour perception ability. The macula is also made up of the peri-fovea and para-fovea.
What is macula and how is it adopted to its functions? The macula comprises of light sensitive photoreceptors that are densely packed together. This enables the macula to be in control of the central vision and the ability to do tasks like reading, distinguishing faces or details and driving. Having numerous cones in the macula enables the eye to have a sharp vision especially in bright light. It is yellow in colour since it is made up of lutein and zeaxanthin. Due to this it is able to absorb excess ultraviolet light and it also blocks entry of excess sun light.
What is macula and its clinical significance? If the macula is tampered with various eye diseases can develop. Macular degeneration can occur if the macula breaks down. This condition leads to the decreased ability of the eye to see clearly due to either partial or complete vision loss. Macula degeneration can also develop due to aging hence the elderly are at a higher risk. Destruction of the macula can also lead to formation of macula holes which are caused by trauma and if severe the entire macula can be damaged.