What is a macular hole?

It is important to see your eye doctor at least once a year, to ensure that you are seeing your best and to check for any problems. But you shouldn’t wait for that yearly appointment if you notice a change in your vision – it could be a sign of a problem such as a macular hole. Read on for more information about this problem and what can be done about it.

What causes macular holes?

The term “macular hole” is a frightening one, but the good news is it can be treated very successfully. The macula is located in the center of the retina, which is made up of the cells in the back of the eye. A macular hole forms when the vitreous – the jelly-like substance that makes up the middle of the eye – starts to shrink. This is a normal part of aging, but in some patients the vitreous sticks to the retina as it shrinks, which can tear a hole in the macula.

An intact, healthy retina and macula are important for clear sight, and if a hole develops your vision may start to look wavy or blurry. The macula gives clear vision for what is directly in front of the eyes, so patients with a macular hole may still have functional peripheral vision.

Macular holes are typically only found in one eye, and may be caused by an eye injury or an eye disease, or they may just be a part of getting older.

What is the treatment for a macular hole?

Macular holes are typically treated by surgery, but don’t worry. It is a common procedure with a high success rate. It can be done in your doctor’s office in about an hour with local anesthesia. The vitreous is removed and a gas bubble is put into the eye. The bubble holds the macula in place and give the hole a chance to heal, and after a few weeks is harmlessly absorbed into the body.

If you notice changes in your vision, don’t wait. Contact Richens Eye Center in St. George, UT, or Mesquite, NV, for an appointment today. Call (435) 986-2020!

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