Medical Definition of Macula

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Macula: A macula is a small spot. A macula on the skin is a small flat spot while the macula in the eye is a small spot where vision is keenest in the retina.

The macula of the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue lining the interior of the back of the eye, is also known as the macula. It is in the center of the retina. As we read, light is focused onto our macula where millions of cells change the light into nerve signals that tell the brain what we are seeing.

This is called central vision thanks to which we are able to read, drive, and perform other activities that require fine, sharp, straight-ahead vision. If the macula begins to degenerate, central visions begins to go.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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