The Macula is the small, pigmented portion of the retina that provides sharp central vision. The macula allows us to see objects directly in front of us, read, drive and see fine detail. When a hole is formed on the macula, it can cause blurred or distorted central vision.

Symptoms of a Macular Hole

Macular holes are related to the aging process and commonly occur in people over the age of 60. The symptoms of macular holes gradually appear and are first noticed as distorted or blurred central vision. Other symptoms include difficulty reading or concentrating on small details and straight lines appear wavy.

Causes of a Macular Hole

Age is the most common cause of macular hole. As you get older, the vitreous (gel inside the eye) begins to shrink and pull away from the retina. Usually the vitreous pulls away with no problems, but sometimes the vitreous can stick to the retina. This causes the macula to stretch and a hole to form. Other times a macular hole can form when the macula swells from other eye diseases, or it can be caused by an eye injury.

Macular Hole Symptoms

Macular hole symptoms are similar to those of macular degeneration. The most common symptom of macular hole is a decline in the central vision of the affected eye. Macular hole generally doesn’t affect peripheral vision, so that will be unaffected.

Additional symptoms of macular hole include:

  • Distortion
  • Blurring
  • A dark spot in the central vision

Treatment for a Macular Hole

Some macular holes can seal themselves and require no surgery. Vitrectomy surgery can be performed to improve vision. During this procedure, the vitreous gel is removed from the eye and replaced with a bubble of gas and liquid to prevent more pulling on the retina. The gas bubble pushes against the hole to seal it closed. The bubble will slowly dissolve, allowing the vitreous cavity to fill with natural eye fluids.

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