The macula is this small area in the center of the retina, which is responsible for clear, detailed vision. The macula usually spreads to the back of the eye, like film covering the back of the camera. The vitreous body is the clear gel-like substance that fills the inside of the eye. As the vitreous matures gradually throughout life, it shrinks and detaches away from the retina. In some people the vitreous can remain partially adherent at the macula. In these people the vitreous pulls the surface of the macula and distorts its normal anatomy resulting in vitreomacular traction.
Symptoms of vitreomacular traction
The condition is stable in most cases with mild symptomatology. Since the macula is responsible for clear vision, distortion is the most common symptom. As the macula is pulled, it begins to swell (edema) and in some cases can develop up to a macular hole. With even more swelling, central vision can become very blurred and distorted. If a hole develops, a blind spot appears in the center of vision. Generally, people are not blinded by the vitreomacular traction. Even in the most severe cases, usually peripheral or lateral vision is almost always maintained.
Diagnosis of vitreous traction
Diagnosis is done through clinical examination and OCT examination within a few minutes.
Treatment of vitreomacular traction
Treatment is not necessary if the symptoms are mild. When the traction causes vision loss or symptoms begin to significantly prevent reading and performing simple daily functions, surgery is recommended. Vitrectomy is the most effective treatment for releasing vitreomacular traction. If additionally, there is a tissue that grows above the surface of the macula, a micro forceps can be used to remove the membrane.
Almost all patients see improvement postoperatively. The final visual acuity depends mainly on the chronicity and size of the lesion.