What Is the Function of the Macula?

The macula is a small and highly sensitive part of the retina that is responsible for sharp central vision needed to do daily tasks such as reading, driving and distinguishing colors or details. The macula is about five millimeters in diameter, according to The Association for Macular Diseases.

In the macula, there is a part called the fovea that consists of millions of photoreceptors that are light-sensing cells. When there is macular damage or deterioration, central vision may decrease. This can lead to the development of macular degeneration or partial vision loss. However, macular degeneration also can be the result of the aging process.

The location of the retina is at the back of the eyes. Although the macula is responsible for visual acuity, other parts of the retina are responsible for peripheral vision.