The macula provides the sharp, central vision needed for reading, driving, and seeing fine details. With the development of a macular hole, your central vision will become blurry, wavy or distorted. As the hole gets larger or persists for a longer period of time, a dark or blind spot appears in the center of your vision. Macular holes are related to aging and usually occur in people over age 60.
With increasing age, the vitreous gel that fills the eye begins to shrink and condense. This results in the gel pulling away from it’s strong attachment to the center of the retina.
The gel pulling away is a natural process that usually occurs without any problems. However, occasionally the vitreous can stick to the retina and pull a hole.
Besides age, other retinal diseases and trauma can cause a macular hole to form.
Your ophthalmologist will use special lenses to examine the retina.
Special pictures called optical coherence tomography (OCT) aid in the diagnosis of a macular hole.
The OCT is a machine that non-invasively scans the back of your eye and provides microscopic images of the retina and macula. OCT scans can diagnose macular holes as well as other retinal diseases.
The surgery is called a vitrectomy with membrane peel, and it is the best way to treat a macular hole.
During a vitrectomy with membrane peel, your retinal surgeon removes the vitreous that is pulling on your macula and removes a fine layer of tissue on the surface of the retina to aid in hole closure.
During surgery, a gas bubble is left inside the eye and helps flatten the macular hole and support the retina while it heals. The gas bubble will dissolve over a period of several weeks.
What to expect with vitrectomy surgery for macular hole:
These risks include:
Your ophthalmologist will talk about these risks and how vitrectomy surgery may help you.
It is treated with a surgery called vitrectomy with membrane peel.
Retina: Layer of nerve cells lining the back wall inside the eye. This layer senses light and sends signals to the brain so you can see.
Macula: Small but important area in the center of the retina. You need the macula to clearly see details of objects in front of you.
Vitreous: Clear, gel-like substance that fills the inside of your eye. The vitreous helps the eye maintain its shape and also transmits light to the retina.
Make sure blood sugar is under control for at least a week before an eye exam
and your blood sugar levels are stable.
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