macula :

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  • n  a cooler darker spot appearing periodically on the sun's photosphere; associated with a strong magnetic field
  • n  a small yellowish central area of the retina that is rich in cones and that mediates clear detailed vision
  • n  a patch of skin that is discolored but not usually elevated; caused by various diseases

  • An electron micrograph of a human retina shows the crater-like macula, with the fovea at its center.
  • Without a healthy macula, people cannot read a newspaper, recognize a friend, thread a needle, watch TV, safely negotiate stairs or see much of anything at all.
  • That disease is known as age-related macular degeneration, in which the eye's macula, a remarkably sensitive structure in the middle of the retina, gradually loses its ability to .
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