When RPE cells die, as they do in macular degeneration, the photoreceptors begin to die, too, and the patient goes blind.
And in her final years, when she was blinded by macular degeneration and suffocating with emphysema, vanity left her isolated.
plural maculae, from Latin macula "spot, stain," used of various spots (sunspots, markings on minerals, etc.), of uncertain origin. Especially the macula lutea in the eye.
macula mac·u·la (māk'yə-lə)
n. pl. mac·u·las or mac·u·lae (-lē')
Also mac·ule (-yōōl') A spot, stain, or blemish, especially an area of discoloration on the skin caused by excess or lack of pigment.
A small area distinguishable from the surrounding tissue.
The macula lutea.