Macular Hole

Diagnosed with a Macular Hole?

Learn how IALVS can help you enjoy all the sights you love!

A macular hole occurs when the macula has a break in the center of the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue of your eye. The macula provides you with sharp vision in your central field, necessary for tasks such as seeing fine details, driving, and reading.

If you have a macular hole, which is age-related and generally occurs in patients over 60, you will probably experience problems with your central vision. Everything you look at straight-on may appear distorted and blurry. While a macular hole is not the same condition as macular degeneration, the symptoms can be similar. It may become hard, if not impossible, to drive, see small print, read your computer screen or phone, and recognize the faces of your friends and family. That’s where our helpful and highly qualified IALVS doctors come into the picture!

Your IALVS eye doctor can maximize your sight and your life

We understand the challenges of living with a macular hole, and we are dedicated to removing the frustration and lack of independence that living with low vision may make you feel. Our specialists know all there is to know about modern low vision aids and rehabilitation strategies, and we will match you with the most helpful solutions. For example:

  • Do you miss driving? Low vision optics, such as bioptic telescopes, can be mounted on your glasses to enable you to see street signs and traffic lights.
  • Want to read a newspaper? We can fit you with low vision magnifiers or prismatic eyeglasses that reduce the effects of the blind spot in your field of view.
  • Movie night at home? We’ll teach you strategies to enhance your vision of the TV screen and/or fit you with a magnifying telescopic system that also features anti-glare coatings and tints to improve visual contrast.
  • Is it hard to see your mobile phone? We’ll help you adjust your phone settings and font size to optimize your view of the screen.

These are just a few of the ways in which an IALVS doctor can enhance your quality of life! Technological advances have allowed many people with low vision caused by a macular hole to do the daily tasks they are used to doing. Book a consultation with your local IALVS doctor to learn more about low vision glasses, personalized optic systems, CCTV magnifiers, and many other wearable and mounted low vision devices.

How is a macular hole diagnosed?

Your eye doctor will dilate your eye in order to perform a comprehensive eye exam and inspect the tissues at the back of your eye. Using OCT (optical coherence tomography), a detailed scan and picture of your retina and macula will be taken. This image will then be analyzed.

What are the symptoms of a macular hole?

Most of the time, macular holes begin gradually. Early on, people may detect a slight blurriness or distortion when they look straight ahead. Lines or objects with straight edges may appear wavy or bent. As a result, reading and performing other routine tasks can become challenging. A macular hole does not cause any problems with your peripheral vision.

What are the causes of a macular hole?

Aging is the most common cause of a macular hole, although it can also be due to a condition or ocular injury that leads to macular swelling.

Most of the interior of your eye (about 80%) is filled with vitreous gel that helps preserve the spherical shape of your eye. The vitreous contains millions of fine fibers that are bonded to the retinal surface. With aging, the vitreous shrinks and slowly pulls away from the surface of your retina. The areas affected by this contraction of the vitreous get filled with other natural fluids, and most of the time, no negative effects are experienced. Some individuals may see additional floaters, but that’s considered normal.

A macular hole results when the vitreous is strongly attached to the retina as it pulls away. This action can thereby tear the retina and cause the formation of a macular hole. Or, sometimes after the vitreous has pulled away, some of the fibers stick to the retinal surface and then contract. This stresses the retina and can also lead to a macular hole. In both of these cases, the fluid that replaces the vitreous can then lead through the hold onto the macula – leading to blurry vision.

What is the treatment for a macular hole?

Some macular holes can heal and close up by themselves, and no treatment is necessary. However, patients may still need surgery to improve their vision. The surgical procedure is called a vitrectomy, and involves removing the vitreous gel in order to prevent it from pulling on the retina. A bubble composed of air and gas is inserted into the eye to replace the vitreous. This bubble holds the macular hole in place as it heals.

After vitrectomy, patients must remain in a face-down position, usually for a few days. This enables the bubble to push against the macula and be absorbed by the eye, sealing the macular hole. As the bubble is reabsorbed, natural eye fluids fill the vitreous cavity once again.

I have a macular hole. How can an IALVS eye doctor help me?

If you suffer from reduced vision due to a macular hole, we will evaluate your vision to recommend the most effective low vision aid. A wide variety of low vision devices – optic and computerized technologies – are available to help enhance your eyesight. IALVS eye doctors are extremely knowledgeable about these advanced low vision devices and specially trained to fit them. We will always go the extra mile to match you with the best low vision aids to maximize your quality of life.