What Is a Macular Hole?
A macular hole is just what its name implies: a microscopic opening in the macula; however, a more precise name would be a fovea hole.The fovea is the center of the macula and is the thinnest, most vulnerable area and where macular holes are most likely to develop.
Macular holes most commonly occur in individuals over age 50 and can be caused by a variety of factors. Occasionally, severe blunt trauma plays a role, but most macular holes are caused by anatomical changes within the eye. The condition isn’t painful, though it will have a noticeable and progressive affect on your central vision.
Treatment for Macular Holes
When a macular hole begins to impede your vision and restrict your daily activities, your doctor may recommend a vitrectomy, a surgical procedure used for several retinal conditions.
Vitrectomy surgery is an outpatient procedure that removes vitreous so that your ophthalmologist can repair a macular hole. Once the hole is repaired, a special saline solution is inserted that, over time, the body naturally replaces with vitreous. As part of this procedure, your surgeon may also insert a bubble made of gas or oil. This helps repair a macular hole by applying light pressure and holding its edges together until they heal.
Vitrectomy surgery can be used to treat other eye conditions. Generally, patients experience mild pain and discomfort from this procedure that may include wearing an eye patch. It is important to follow all pre- and post-op instructions.