Definition
This is a gap in the macula that causes a defect or dark spot in the central vision, resulting in distortion and a loss of central/ reading vision. The only treatment for a macula hole is surgery.

Causes

  1. Age. As we age, the vitreous “gel” inside the eye naturally shrinks and pulls away from the retina. Occasionally, the vitreous gel can pull on the retina and create a macular hole. In some cases, the fluid that fills the gap left by the vitreous gel may seep through the hole onto the macula, causing blurring and distortion.
  2. Other eye conditions. The presence of another eye condition may increase your chances of developing a macular hole. These include:
  • Severe short-sightedness
  • Epiretinal membranes that progress to the “macular pucker” stage
  • Retinal detachment
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Eye injury or trauma

Symptoms
Macular holes usually develop over time, so you may not notice any symptoms until your vision is affected. Early signs include blurring and distortion of your vision, and you may notice straight lines (such as window frames, telegraph poles, or lines of text) appearing bent or wavy.

Prevention
Routine checks by an ophthalmologist.

Treatment
Macular hole surgery is performed under local or general anaesthesia. The jelly in the eye (vitreous) is removed and a membrane is peeled off from the surface of the retina. The hole is closed and the eye is then filled with a special expansive gas to keep it closed. The gas is absorbed by the body and disappears from the eye in three weeks. During this time, one does not see.