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The Normal Fovea and Macular Region

Normal fovea and macular region

The fovea is a 2.5 mm-diameter area that looks slightly darker than the surrounding retina because of increased pigment. It is centered about 2 1/2 disc diameters temporal to the optic disc. The fovea lies in the center of the macular region.

Made up exclusively of cones, the fovea processes high-contrast discriminative vision (visual acuity) and color vision. Without it, you could not see fine detail. The most common disorder of the macular region in the elderly is age-related macular degeneration, an idiopathic disorder of the retinal pigment epithelium. Other important macular disorders are diabetic macular edema, toxoplasmosis, and cherry-red spot.

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