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Macula of retina
Human eye cross-sectional view grayscale.png
Human eye cross-sectional view.
Latin macula lutea
Gray's subject #225 1015
MeSH Macula+Lutea

The macula or macula lutea (from Latin macula, "spot" + lutea, "yellow") is an oval-shaped highly pigmented yellow spot near the center of the retina of the human eye. It has a diameter of around 5 mm and is often histologically defined as having two or more layers of ganglion cells. Near its center is the fovea, a small pit that contains the largest concentration of cone cells in the eye and is responsible for central vision, and also contains the parafovea and perifovea.

Because the macula is yellow in colour it absorbs excess blue and ultraviolet light that enter the eye, and acts as a natural sunblock or sunglasses for this area of the retina. The yellow colour comes from its content of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are yellow xanthophyll carotenoids, derived from the diet. Zeaxanthin predominates at the macula, while lutein predominates elsewhere in the retina. There is some evidence that these carotenoids protect the pigmented region from some types of macular degeneration.

Structures in the macula are specialized for high acuity vision. Within the macula are the fovea and foveola which contain a high density of cones (photoreceptors with high acuity).

Clinical significance

Whereas loss of peripheral vision may go unnoticed for some time, damage to the macula will result in loss of central vision, which is usually immediately obvious. The progressive destruction of the macula is a disease known as macular degeneration and can sometimes lead to the creation of a macular hole. Macular holes are rarely caused by trauma, but if a severe blow is delivered it can burst the blood vessels going to the macula, destroying it.

Visual input to the macula occupies a substantial portion of the brain's visual capacity. As a result, some forms of visual field loss can occur without involving the macula; this is termed macular sparing. (For example, visual field testing might demonstrate homonymous hemianopia with macular sparing.)

See also

Additional images

macula is also known as yellow is the best place of vision in our have many rods and cones cells compared to other parts of is in retina which is on visual axis.the most prominant picture is formed by yellow spot.(written by amartya mitra of class viii)



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