A macular hole is a tiny opening in the macula, the region in the retina’s center. A retina is a sensitive area at the back of the eye. The macula, which controls central and fine-detail vision necessary for activities like reading, is located in the center of the retina.
Macular hole causes
A frequent cause of macular holes is aging. As you age, the vitreous decreases and draws away from the retina. The vitreous typically separate without any issues. However, the vitreous can occasionally adhere to the retina. The macula stretches, as a result, creating a hole.
A macular hole can occasionally develop when the macula enlarges due to another eye condition. Or an eye injury could be the culprit.
Diagnosing a macular hole
To dilate (widen) your pupil, your ophthalmologist will inject drops into your eye. It enables them to view the interior of your look with a unique lens.
Then, they will utilize optical coherence tomography to capture photos of your eye. A device scans the retina of your eye using OCT. The retina and macula are seen here in outstanding detail. Your ophthalmologist examines these photos to look for issues.
Treating a macular hole
The best technique to treat a macular hole is through a procedure called a vitrectomy. Your ophthalmologist takes out the vitreous that is pressing against your macula. Then the individual inserts a gas bubble into the eye. As your eye heals, this bubble holds the macular hole in place and flattens it. On its own, the gas bubble steadily dissipates.
Things to know before having a vitrectomy for a macular hole:
- After surgery, your eye may still feel pain. You will be required to take pain medication by your surgeon
- You will have to wear an eye patch for a brief period. It would help if you placed drops in your eyes
- The doctor will suggest face-down recovery following retinal surgery with an internal gas bubble. When it is face down, the bubble becomes in contact with the macula at the back of the eye. After a vitrectomy procedure, you should keep your face down or in a specific position for up to a week, but maybe longer. It ensures that the gas bubble heals appropriately
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022