The Importance of Early Diagnosis of Macular Hole

A macular hole is a rip or gap in the macula in the middle of the retina. Since the macula controls our central vision, which we rely on to see tiny details and for driving and reading, a macular hole results in blurred or distorted vision.

Women are more likely than men to develop macular holes, which most frequently affect persons between 60 and 80. It often results in blurred or distorted vision, making straight lines appear wavy and making fine vision use difficult, such as when reading.

Age-related macular degeneration is different from a macular hole. Both disorders impact the macula and have comparable symptoms in older adults over 60.

When your vision changes, visiting an ophthalmologist is crucial to get diagnosed early and avoid complications.

The Stages and Types of Macular Holes

Three phases are commonly present in macular holes:

  1. Foveal cyst;

  2. Full-thickness macular hole;

  3. Large full-thickness macular holes.

Without treatment, a macular hole will probably get worse over time. A higher success rate is often seen with macular hole treatment that is started within six months.

Indicators of a Macular Hole

Vision changes are frequently the first sign of a macular hole. When reading or watching television, you could find that your vision becomes more blurry or distorted, and you have problems seeing minute details. Straight lines may also begin to appear wavy or lumpy.

A missing patch or black area may appear in your center of vision as the macular hole worsens. Nevertheless, a macular hole doesn't impair your peripheral vision, also referred to as side vision, and the condition is not uncomfortable because the macula is in charge of central vision.

Most of your central vision may be lost if a full-thickness macular hole develops, so it's crucial to consult an eye doctor as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.

Diagnosing a Macular Hole

If your optician feels you have a macular hole, you will be sent to an eye specialist so they may perform further in-depth testing and inspect your eye.

To help the ophthalmologist see the back of your eye clearly, eye drops will be administered to widen your pupils. Most likely, they'll use optical coherence tomography (OCT), a device that creates incredibly distinct images of the retina and macula. The macular hole's stage should be determined, and the doctor should be able to suggest a course of action. 

Although a macular hole cannot be prevented, routine eye exams can help identify it early. To assist in diagnosing a variety of eye diseases, some of which initially develop without evident symptoms, get an eye exam every two years.

Treatment for Macular Holes

A macular hole may occasionally close on its own without the need for therapy. As a result, in the early stages, your ophthalmologist may decide to wait before prescribing medication. However, you typically require a procedure known as a vitrectomy.

The vitreous jelly inside the eye is removed during this keyhole procedure using microscopic devices. In order to ease the pressure holding the macular hole open, a tiny layer of material is then scraped away from the retina's surface.

A gas bubble is then used to replace the vitreous jelly, pressing the hole towards the rear of the eye to aid in its sealing. This gas bubble will impact your eyesight, but over the course of six to eight weeks, natural fluid in the eye will gradually replace it.

The procedure for a vitrectomy is performed while you are under a local or general anesthetic so that you won't experience any pain.

If your macular hole was caused by vitreomacular traction and it is still in its early stages, you can be given an option other than vitrectomy surgery. Ocriplasmin injections can induce the eye's gel to separate from the macula, allowing the opening to shut.

Medical Health