Macular Holes

Some macular holes can simply be monitored by your doctor, but more severe cases may benefit from a surgery known as a vitrectomy.

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.

Monitor Your Vision at Home

Patients with a macular hole can monitor their vision by downloading and printing their own Amsler chart. Post yours in an easy-to-see place such as your refrigerator for a daily check of your visual acuity. Step-by-step instructions are included with your download.


What to Expect

If you have a vision problem that requires advanced care, it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation at Vance Thompson Vision. It’s in your best interest to learn the source of any cloudy or distorted vision as soon as possible. Retina care, in particular, can be especially delicate and benefits from early intervention.

At your consultation, extensive testing and measurements will be performed on your eyes. Based on those results, your doctor will customize a care plan to fit your unique eyes and their condition(s). That care plan will be adjusted frequently based on how you respond to treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do macular holes go away?

At an early stage and when they’re small enough, some macular holes will close spontaneously. Larger macular holes only tend to worsen and require a procedure called a vitrectomy to repair them. Being seen by a retina specialist early in this process is important to help determine if surgery is necessary to help preserve your vision.

How serious is a macular hole?

Macular holes can range from mild to severe, depending on their size and stage. It’s important that they be monitored by an eye doctor.

Can a macular hole be prevented?

Most macular holes develop spontaneously, so there is no way to prevent them.

If I have a macular hole in one eye, will I get one in the other?

Because macular holes develop spontaneously, the probability of developing them in both eyes is low.

Is this condition covered by insurance?

Treatment and care of macular holes is usually covered by insurance as this type of care is generally categorized as medically necessary.

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Early intervention truly is the best treatment. Call our friendly, professional team today to schedule your retina consultation.

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