The macula is the part of the retina that distinguishes fine details at the center of the field of vision.
As we enlarge to a cross-section, macular degeneration is better seen as the partial breakdown of the insulating layer between the retina and the choroid layer of blood vessels behind the retina.
Review Date 9/7/2021
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.