A macular hole is an eye condition in which a small defect develops in the macula, the central part of the retina at the back of your eye. The macula is responsible for our sharpest vision and its health is essential to seeing clearly. Macular holes can cause distortion or blurriness in your vision.
Although it’s not a common eye condition, a macular hole can occur without warning as you age. It affects more women than men and usually appears after age 50.
The exact cause of macular holes is unknown, but they are believed to be related to aging changes that affect the vitreous gel inside the eyeball. As we age, the vitreous gel can shrink and pull away from the macula. This tractional force causes the macula to tear, leading to a hole in the center of it.
Trauma or certain eye surgery may cause a macular hole in some cases.Symptoms
The most common macular hole symptoms are blurred vision or distorted vision. Over time, colors may also appear faded or washed out. In severe cases, central vision may be lost altogether as the area around the macular hole becomes increasingly impaired.Our Specialist
If you experience any symptoms of a macular hole, it’s important to see an ophthalmologist right away. They can diagnose the condition with a comprehensive eye exam, including dilation and retinal imaging. Your ophthalmologist may use optical coherence tomography (OCT) to scan and examine your retina. OCT uses light waves to reveal specific layers of the retina.
With prompt diagnosis and treatment, you can reduce your risk of permanent vision loss.
Macular holes can be treated with surgery. The most effective treatment is vitrectomy surgery. During this procedure, the surgeon will inject a gas bubble into the eye to close the macular hole. The gas bubble helps to keep the macular hole closed while it heals, allowing for better visual acuity. Afterward, you must maintain specific head positions for several days as the gas bubble helps seal off the hole.
The treatment of macular holes is typically successful when done promptly. In some cases, additional treatments may be necessary to ensure full healing of the macula. It’s important to follow up with your doctor after treatments as they will monitor your progress and provide any additional treatment that is needed. You should regain some of your central vision with proper care and monitoring over time. However, it may take several months for the effects of treatment to be visible.
Preventing macular holes is not always possible, but regular eye exams can help catch any changes in your vision before they become serious. Early detection and treatment can reduce the risk of losing central vision due to a macular hole.
At Lehigh Eye Specialists, we take pride in providing our patients with the highest quality of care and personalized services. Our board-certified ophthalmologists have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating macular holes. We are dedicated to helping you restore your vision through cutting-edge treatments and technology.
Our team understands that each patient’s eye condition is unique, so we provide customized treatment plans that meet your needs. We also strive to make sure you feel comfortable throughout the process by taking the time to answer any questions or concerns.
If you’ve been referred to Lehigh Eye Specialists, our caring and compassionate staff is ready to assist you. Our Patient Portal page provides forms and information help you prepare for your upcoming appointment.About Lehigh Eye Patient Resources