| Detection & Diagnosis
Macular hole is a problem that
affects the very central portion of the retina. It happens for a variety of
reasons such as: eye injuries, certain diseases, and inflammation inside
the eye. However, the most common cause is related to the normal aging
gel inside the eye is firmly attached to the macula.
With age, the vitreous becomes thinner and separates from the retina.
Sometimes this creates traction on the macula, causing a hole to
Macular holes often begin
gradually and affect central vision depending on the severity and extent of the
problem. Partial holes only affect part of the macular layers, causing
wavy, distorted, blurred vision. Patients with full-thickness macular
holes experience a complete loss of central vision.
Signs and Symptoms
The severity of the symptoms is
dependent on whether the hole is partial or full-thickness.
Detection and Diagnosis
acuity testing, Amsler grid, and ophthalmoscopy
are all performed to evaluate the macula's health and function. The retina
doctor may also order photographs
of the macula prior to performing surgery to repair the hole.
Some macular holes seal
spontaneously and require no treatment. In many cases, surgery is
necessary to close the hole and restore useful vision.
Macular holes are repaired with
surgery. During the operation, the surgeon first gently removes the
vitreous gel with a procedure called vitrectomy. This eliminates any
traction on the macula. A gas bubble is injected in the eye to place
gentle pressure on the macula and help the hole to seal. In many cases,
patients enjoy functional vision after the bubble has dissipated and the eye has
you had macular hole surgery? Click here for post-operative information.
Related surgical procedures:
Illustrations by Mark Erickson
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