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What to Know About Macular Holes in the Eye

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29th Dec 2022

The inner eyeball's delicate, complex nerve tissue is called the retina. The brain receives light impulses from this area of the eye, which it then interprets as visual images.

For activities that need precision, including driving and reading, a healthy macula is essential. Central vision is immediately lost as a result of abnormal macula alterations. For instance, persons with diabetes-related eye disease may develop macular edema when extra fluid builds up in the macula.

When the macula's layers separate or tear, a macular hole develops. Both partial and whole macular holes are possible.

What causes a macular hole?

In some cases, macular holes can also develop as a result of eye injuries or eye diseases that cause the macula to bulge.

Macular holes are distinct from age-related macular degeneration, even though the symptoms may be similar and aging is a prevalent cause. Your eye doctor can shed more light on your condition.

How to tell if you have a macular hole in your eye?

A hazy or wavering vision is one of a macular hole's early signs.

This may come to your attention while driving or reading. This may be simple to miss at first because of how slowly it may begin. This is especially true if your other eye has good vision. A similar distortion happens when viewing a tiled wall, like those in bathroom showers, with one eye at a time.

A person may lose their core vision as the hole grows larger. Your peripheral vision shouldn't be impacted by a macular hole, though. So you could be able to see someone's face but not their nose or eyes, for instance.

If you are over 60 years old, extremely nearsighted (myopic), have had eye surgery, or have sustained an eye injury, you are more prone to develop a macular hole.

If you've had a macular hole in the other eye, you're also more likely to develop one now. One in ten individuals who develop a macular hole in one eye also develops one in the other.

How is a macular hole diagnosed?

An ophthalmologist typically begins by dilating the pupil of the patient's eye using drops in order to diagnose a macular hole.

The eye doctor will use optical coherence tomography to take photos after eye dilation (OCT). The retina and macula can be photographed in great detail using this device, which scans the back of the eye painlessly. The OCT is secure since it does not use ionizing radiation for imaging.


Small holes frequently need to be closely monitored during macular hole treatment to make sure they don't get worse.

Surgery is usually necessary. The vitrectomy procedure includes removing the vitreous that is pushing on the macula. The macular hole is then flattened and secured in place inside the eye with the use of a gas bubble, which is then inserted to help with the healing process. The gas bubble will eventually disappear on its own.

Your eye may take several months to recover from surgery. The size and duration of the hole may have an effect on how much your vision improves.

The Bottom Line

Your central vision may be impacted by macular holes, which can make daily activities like reading and driving more challenging. They often form as the vitreous pushes away from the retina and are particularly prevalent in older persons.

It's crucial to have your eyes examined by a specialist if you experience hazy or wavering vision.

Ophthalmologists can identify any potential underlying issues and provide therapies for them. Early detection of problems like macular holes is crucial since it increases the likelihood that vision will return to normal.