A macular hole is a disorder that is characterized by a sudden loss of central vision or the ability to read or see fine detail. The cause is the development of a hole in the central retina or macula. While the actual reason for the formation of the hole is not clearly understood, we do have an idea of how it might happen.
The macula is the thinnest part of the retina. The eye is filled with a jelly like substance called vitreous. The vitreous shrinks over time and appears to pull on the macula resulting in the development of a hole. The average patient who develops a macular hole is;
a person greater than 60 years of age
likely to be a female (70% of the time)
otherwise healthy with no history of eye problems or surgery
The only treatment for macular hole is surgery. The surgery removes the vitreous (Vitrectomy) that is pulling on the retina and then the eye is filled with a gas bubble to seal the hole. Before 2007, most patients were required to maintain a facedown position after surgery.
Today, patients are NO LONGER REQUIRED to maintain facedown positioning to repair the macula. Please be sure to ask the doctor to answer any questions you may have regarding the risks and benefits of surgery to repair your macular hole.
Keith Warren, M.D.
Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Overland Park and Kansas City