Macular Holes

Macular holes are small breaks in the macula. The macula is located in the center of the eye’s light sensitive tissue, the retina.

What are Macular Holes?

Macular holes are small breaks in the macula. The macula is located in the center of the eye’s light-sensitive tissue, the retina. A macular hole can cause blurred and distorted central vision because the macula is responsible for sharp, central vision required for driving and reading.

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What Causes a Macular Hole to Develop?

Macular holes commonly affect people over the age of 55. Most breaks in the macula develop spontaneously and are related to aging. Women are also at a higher risk than men.

Macular holes may occur due to:

  • Best’s disease
  • Diabetic eye disease
  • Eye trauma
  • Myopia
  • Macular pucker
  • Retinal detachment
  • Vitreous shrinkage and/or separation

What are the Symptoms?

The most common symptom is a gradual decline in the central vision of the affected eye.

You may experience:

  • Blurry vision
  • Distorted vision (straight lines appearing wavy)
  • A dark spot in the central (straight-ahead) vision

The degree of your symptoms will depend on the location, size, and stage of development of the macular hole.

Are There Different Stages of a Macular Hole?

Yes, macular holes occur in three stages.

  • Foveal detachments (Stage I). Without treatment, about half of Stage I holes will progress.
  • Partial-thickness holes (Stage II). Without treatment, about 70 percent of Stage II holes will progress.
  • Full-thickness holes (Stage III).

How is a Macular Hole Treated?

Some macular holes may resolve themselves but surgery may be necessary to improve vision. An ophthalmologist, like Dr. Narain, may perform a vitrectomy to remove the vitreous gel and prevent it from pulling on the retina. The gel is replaced with a bubble consisting of air and gas to help the macular hole heal.

Following surgery, it is important that the patient remains in a face-down position for up to two weeks. This will help the bubble press against the macula and be reabsorbed by the eye to seal the hole. The vitreous cavity then refills with natural eye fluids.

Request an Appointment in San Jose or Gilroy, California

If you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms associated with a macular hole, contact South Bay Retina. Dr. Narain is an experienced retina specialist and surgeon, and our offices have the most advanced equipment in eye care. Schedule an appointment at one of our two locations in the South Bay: San Jose and Gilroy. You can reach our San Jose and Gilroy office at (408) 294-3534. You can also click on the button below to schedule an appointment online.

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Treatments for Macular Holes


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