Macular Hole

A macular hole, also known as a macular cyst, is a small hole formed in the macula due to tension on the surface of the retina due to shrinking vitreous. With age, the structures of the eye change. This is true of the gel-like fluid vitreous, which fills the area between the lens and the retina. Over time, its composition changes; its fibers begin to clump together and shrink away from the retina. This is a natural occurrence and usually has no negative effects. Occasionally though, in areas where it is firmly adhered to the retina, it will pull the retina with it. The shrinking vitreous can cause a macular hole when it pulls on the macula.

The macular hole will cause distortion in the central line of vision. Reading will become difficult because lines will appear wavy. If the shrinking vitreous has caused a hole that is the full thickness of the macula, there will be an area of central vision that will simply be missing.

The only successful treatment for a macular hole is surgery called a vitrectomy. The surgery is most successful when it is performed less than a year after a macular hole occurs. In these instances, the macular hole can be repaired, and vision will stabilize and may improve. It is important to visit an eye care specialist as soon as any changes in vision are noticed.

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