Every eye contains a light-sensitive tissue known as the retina. This tissue houses the macula, which gives us the central vision we need to drive, read, and see details. A number of health and aging factors can cause a hole to form in the macula, which affects our ability to see.
What Causes Macular Holes?
Macular holes are more common in people over 55. The condition is spontaneous, which means that there is no preventative treatment available. Several factors increase the risk of a macular hole, including:
- Diabetes-related eye disease
- High degree of nearsightedness (myopia)
- Eye trauma or injury
- Retinal detachment
- Shrinking vitreous due to aging
How Does a Vitrectomy Work?
If you are diagnosed with a macular hole, then you may need to undergo a vitrectomy. The procedure can take several hours. You will stay awake and apply numbing drops or shots in the eye, or you may be put under general anesthesia.
The doctor will cut the exterior of the eye and the sclera. Vitreous fluid is removed with a needle. Debris or scar tissue is also removed. This clears the way for the doctor to make the needed repairs. A bubble of gas may be injected to keep your retina in place during the procedure. This will gradually go away on its own.
Once the doctor has made the repairs, they will refill the eye with saline or silicone. An antibiotic ointment will be applied, and you will have to cover it with a patch during recovery.
Macular Hole Symptoms
Patients notice a minor distortion in their straight-ahead sight during the early stages of a macular hole. Straight lines may appear wavy. This will affect reading and similar activities. If you notice any of these symptoms or other changes in your vision, contact Grosinger, Spigelman & Grey ophthalmologists right away to schedule an appointment.