What is a macular hole?
After several weeks or months the macula tears, forming a hole. Macular holes are associated with aging and usually occur in people over the age of 60. Less common causes of macular holes include injury to the eye and long-term swelling of the macula.
The presence of another eye condition may increase your chances of developing a macular hole. These include:
• Decreased ability to see fine details when looking directly at something at any distance;
How is a macular hole treated?
It is important to note that if the macula is damaged, you will not lose your vision entirely. You will still have peripheral, or side vision. A test called optical coherence tomography (OCT) is most helpful in making an accurate macular hole diagnosis. With OCT, a special diagnostic laser camera is used to photograph your retina. It measures the thickness of the retina and is also very sensitive at detecting swelling and fluid. OCT can also diagnose small macular holes that are too small to be seen in an examination or with angiography.
Macular hole surgery involves using tiny instruments to remove the vitreous gel that is pulling on the macula. The eye is then filled with a special gas or oil bubble to help flatten the macular hole and hold the retinal tissue in place while it heals. The bubble will then slowly dissolve on its own, or, in some cases, be removed by your doctor.
As the macular hole closes, the eye usually regains some of the lost sight. How much vision is restored generally depends on the size of the hole and how long it was present before surgery.