What is a macular hole and how can it be treated?

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020, 8:49 am

Macular HoleThere are several age-related conditions that can impact the eyes, including glaucoma and cataracts. Another concern for patients is that of a macular hole.

Understanding the macular hole

A macular hole is a condition that impacts the retina. The macula is what provides patients with the sharp, centralized vision they need to see fine details while driving and reading. When there is a break in the macula, it can result in the development of distorted or blurred central vision. This condition is commonly seen in patients over the age of 60, and is different from age-related macular degeneration. Though the symptoms of both these conditions are similar, a proper evaluation will determine if a patient is dealing with a macular hole or macular degeneration.

How severe is a macular hole?

When a macular hole is diagnosed, it is often diagnosed in one of the three stages:

  • Foveal detachments – this is the first stage of a macular hole. Without treatment at this point, approximately half of foveal detachments will progress to later stages.
  • Partial-thickness holes – this is the second stage of a macular hole. Approximately 70% of stage two macular holes will progress to the third and last stage.
  • Full-thickness holes – also known as stage three and the most severe case of a macular hole.

How is a macular hole treated?

Some macular holes, especially those in the first stage, can improve on their own without treatment. However, there are cases in which patients may need surgery to address the problem and help improve the patient’s vision. During the procedure, called a vitrectomy, the doctor will remove the vitreous gel in the eye and replace it with special bubbles that contain air and gas. This keeps the vitreous gel from pulling on the retina and can act as a bandage to help the macular hole heal. There are certain risks associated with this procedure, which should be discussed with the doctor prior to moving forward with treatment.

Are you in need of eye care solutions?

Contact one of the 36 locations of Marion Eye Center and Optical in the states of Illinois and Missouri, and schedule an evaluation with our experienced eyecare providers.

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Category: Eye Condition


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