A macular hole is when a defect forms in the macula. The macula is located in the center of the retina which is a light-sensitive layer that lines the back of the eye on the inside. When a macular hole develops, the central vision becomes blurry and distorted which interferes with daily tasks like driving, reading, and seeing fine details.
Macular holes tend to begin gradually. In the early stages of the macular hole, some people may notice slightly distorted or blurry vision. As this condition progresses, reading, driving, and other tasks may become difficult. If the macular hole evolves, it could lead to complete loss of central vision.
The interior of the eye is filled with vitreous. This is a gel-like substance that fills about 80% of the eye’s interior and helps the eye maintain its shape. The vitreous contains fibers that attach it to the retina. As we age, the vitreous slowly starts to shrink and pulls away from the retina. This is completely normal, and natural fluids replace the vitreous in areas where it has contracted. Most patients experience no adverse effects from this. However, sometimes the vitreous is firmly attached to the retina and when it pulls away, it can lead to abnormal traction on the surface of retina and development of macular hole.
Macular holes can also occur due to other eye disorders such as nearsightedness, retinal detachment, macular pucker, and/or injury to the eye.
The majority of macular holes require a surgical procedure in order to improve vision. A vitrectomy is a procedure used for a macular hole. In this surgery, the vitreous gel is removed in order to prevent it from pulling on the retina. Microforceps are then used to remove any scar tissue from the surface of the retina. The eye is then filled with a special gas bubble to help with closure of the macular hole. This surgery is done with local anesthesia and on an out-patient basis. Your eye doctor will go over the surgery with you in detail during an in-person consultation with you.
If you start to notice changes in your vision such as blurry or distorted central vision, you may have a macular hole. Get your eyes checked in order to start treatment before this condition progresses. To schedule your appointment, book online with us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.