What is a macular hole?

A macular hole is when the macula has a small “break”. The macula is in the retina’s center, it provides sharp, central vision.

A macular hole can cause vision to be blurry and distorted.

What causes a macular hole?

The “middle” gel like-consistency is called the vitreous and is attached to the retina. When we grow older the vitreous may shrink and pull on the retina. In most instances, there are no adverse effects, however, it can sometimes tear away the retina and create a macular hole.

Macular holes may also occur as a result of eye disorders, for example near-sightedness, injury to the eye or a retinal detachment.

 

Is my other eye at risk?

A 10-15 percent chance is present for a macular hole to develop in one eye if there is already one present in the fellow eye.

 

Symptoms

Slight distortion

Blurriness in central vision

Straight lines or objects appear wavy

 

Treatment

Surgery is needed in the majority of cases to improve vision. The procedure is called a vitrectomy where the vitreous gel is removed and replaced with a bubble that contains a mixture of air and gas. The bubble’s purpose is to act as a temporary bandage inside of the eye to hold the macula in place as it heals. This procedure is done under local anaesthetics.

After surgery, patients must remain in a face-down position for as long as two to three weeks. This allows the bubble to remain in position to further improve the healing procedure as well ad for the bubble to gradually be reabsorbed by the eye. As the bubble is reabsorbed, the vitreous will refill with natural eye fluids.

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