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Macular Holes

Macular holes are breaks in the integrity of the macula. Macular holes are usually small, but they affect a part of the retina that’s responsible for central vision. The macular hole causes, in essence, a blind spot to form. Some patients might see a blurry or cloudy area in the center of their vision.

Macular Hole Repair, Surgery & Treatment

Macular holes can be repaired with micro surgical techniques. These surgical techniques often result in the full repair of macular holes and significant improvement in vision. Vitrectomy surgery involves removing the vitreous gel and scar tissue that is keeping the macular hole open. With this treatment, most patients will experience shrinkage of the macular hole. The degree of improvement patients can expect in their vision is in part largely dependent on how long they had the hole.

Macular Hole Symptoms

When macular holes begin to form, most people will not notice a difference in their vision. Over time they may notice a slight distortion or blurriness when they are looking straight ahead. Straight lines or objects may begin to look wavy. Finally, the patient may notice that performing routine vision tasks such as reading becomes difficult with macular holes. Note: The symptoms for macular holes are similar to symptoms for macular degeneration, but they are not the same. Our eye doctors and vision specialists will be able to properly diagnose each condition.

Causes of Macular Holes

The interior portion your eye is filled with vitreous; this is a gel-like product that comprises about 80% of the eye. It helps to maintain the round shape of the eye. The vitreous itself contains superfine fibers that attach themselves to the retinal surface.

Aging leads to shrinkage of the vitreous. Iit slowly pulls away from the surface of the retinal. This is completely normal and there are usually no negative effects from it. Some people notice a slight increase in the incidence of “floaters. Some people describe these as “cobwebs” or specks that look like they are floating in the vision field, but this is considered completely normalIn some cases the vitreous is firmly attached to the retina when it pulls away, and this can tear the retina and create macular holes. In addition, some fibers might remain on the surface of the retina. These fibers can contract which increases the tension on the retina; this can aid in the development of a macular hole. Fluid can seep through the hole into the macula which causes distorted vision.

Macular holes can form due to causes aside from aging, and these include strong nearsightedness, eye disease, diabetic retinopathy, eye injuries and macular pucker.

How big are macular holes?

Macular holes can be very small or can develop into somewhat large holes, and the hole’s size as well as its location on the retina determines how much it will impact a person’s vision. In rare cases when a macular hole is left untreated, it can lead to a detached retina, which is a condition that requires immediate medical attention because it can lead to a loss of sight.