Published: Feb. 8, 2012
Updated: Feb. 8, 2012
The retina is the sensory tissue that lines the back of the eye and produces the image which is sent to the brain to produce vision.
The macula is the central aspect of the retina and is responsible for our central detailed vision, which is needed for activities including reading and driving.
A macular hole can form in the retina as we age. The vitreous -- gel in the eye that helps to maintain the eye’s shape -- is firmly attached to the macula. Over time, the vitreous liquefies. As the liquefied vitreous moves, it can pull the macular tissue.
In most cases, the macula is unharmed in the process, but sometimes when the vitreous pulls away a small hole forms.
Macular hole is described in stages, which helps to describe the risk of further development.
Macular hole symptoms include blurred vision for both near and far sight. Patients may feel that straight lines look broken or wavy when viewed centrally.
Macular holes are often repaired through a procedure called vitrectomy, a surgery that removes the vitreous that is pulling on the macula.
Upon completion of the vitrectomy surgery, the eye is temporarily filled with a gas that presses on the hole and promotes healing. The gas dissipates over a few weeks.
Special face/head positioning may be required during the first few days after surgery.
Duke Eye Center offers treatment for macula hole, macular generation, and related problems of the eye. Contact us for treatment at one of our locations near Cary, Durham, and Raleigh, North Carolina.