A macular hole is a small break in the macula which is located in the center of the retina which is a light-sensitive tissue area. The macula provides sharp, central vision we need for the activities like reading, driving and seeing the details of any object or person. A macular hole can cause a blurred vision and also can lead to distorted central vision. Generally, the macular hole is related to the aging of a person and occurs commonly to people above the age of 60 years. Also, women have a slightly higher risk for macular holes compared than men.
Based on its stage the macular hole is in three stages:
- Foveal detachment that is stage 1 which is a progressing stage if left untreated
- Partial- thickness holes that is stage 2 which also is progressive if left untreated
- Full-Thickness holes that are stage3
The person’s vision is affected by the size of the hole and its location on the retina. with the development of the third stage of macular hole most central and detailed vision can be lost. And if the macular hole is left untreated it can lead to a detached retina, vision loss condition which needs the immediate medical attention of the eye specialist.
Most of the people when the macular hole develops notices a sudden decrease in vision of one eye. Macular holes occur due to the
- vitreous shrinkage and/or separation
- Diabetic eye disease
- High amount of nearsightedness
- Macular pucker
- A detached retina
- Best’s disease which is inheritable
- Eye injury
Treatment is generally most effective when it is carried during the development of the condition. An operation is called a vitrectomy. During the process of vitrectomy vitreous gel from the affected eye is carefully removed and is then replaced with the specific gas which helps in the macula to heal.
The ophthalmologist puts the gas bubble inside the eyes which helps flatten the macula hole and hold it in place while your eye heals. The gas bubble slowly goes away later by its own.
- your eyes may hurt so the doctor may have to give you medicine to help you with pain
- You have to wear the eye patch for some time and also you have to put certain eye drops
- You must keep your face down or in a particular position all the time after the surgery. This is to keep the gas bubble in place to do the healing process properly.
- You cannot fly in an airplane until the gas bubble is gone. As this may cause an increase in pressure that can cause problems to the bubble.
- Your vision will improve as the macular hole closes gradually. It may take several months for a hole to finish the healing. How much vision the patients get back totally depends upon the size of the macular hole.