Macular hole

What is a macular hole?

A macular hole is a small hole in the central part of the retina which can lead to distortion and blurring of central vision. A macular hole normally only occurs in one eye, although they are present in both eyes in 10-15% of cases. They can be detected by a scan of the back of the eye.

Macular holes are not related to macular degeneration.

What are the symptoms?

There may be no symptoms in the early stages of a macular hole and clarity of vision can still be good. As a hole progresses, patients may notice distortion and blurring of vision.

What are the causes?

When light enters our eye, it passes through the cornea, the lens and the vitreous before finally reaching the retina. Here, it is converted to electrical impulses. These electrical impulses are sent via the optic nerve to the brain where they are converted into the bright, colourful images that we see.

The cause of a macular hole is not always clear, but on some occasions may be related to a shrinkage of the jelly filling the posterior part of the eye (the vitreous) which then pulls on the macula (vitreo-macular traction). However in many cases the cause is not apparent.

What is the treatment?

Every patient is unique, so we offer a detailed consultation with one of our Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeons to determine suitability, answer all your questions and explain the treatment options.

Vitrectomy: surgical removal of the vitreous gel from the eye, which is then replaced by a bubble of inert gas allowing the hole to close. Read more

Other treatments include injections of ocriplasmin (Jetrea) into the eye to separate the vitreous gel from the retina.

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