The macula lutea is a section of the retina that regulates central vision – that is, the high-acuity vision necessary for reading, driving and recognising faces. In the centre of the macula is a small pit called the fovea centralis, which produces finely detailed images.

Central vision typically deteriorates with age, due to a process known as age-related macular degeneration. Many other factors, such as smoking and dietary habits, also affect the rate of macular degeneration.

For more information, see The Eye and Vision and Macular Degeneration.