Does My Condition Require Surgery: Macular Holes
The macula is a small area in the center of the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye. Macula holes form small gaps at the center of the retina usually after the macula has been stretched or pulled. A macular hole is a condition that occurs because of changes in the eye and not usually from outside factors. As you age, the vitreous, gel-like substance that fills the eye and gives it its rounded shape, begins to shrink and pull away from the retina. This can lead to retinal detachment which can be a threat to your vision and even cause blindness. Although macular holes are a rare condition, blurred central vision can lead to central blind spots.
In early stages, a macular hole can cause blurred or distorted vision, examples include difficulty reading small print or straight lines that appear wavy. A black spot or a missing patch in your central vision is another indicator of a macular hole that has progressed. While macular holes do not cause pain and the condition does not lead to a total loss of sight, surgery is usually needed to repair the hole.
Macular holes are typically repaired during a surgery called vitrectomy. First, a macular hole is diagnosed by one or more retinal tests that include optical coherence tomography, fundus fluorescence angiography or fundus photography. During surgery, the vitreous gel in the eye is removed. Sometimes bits of tissue are also removed. A laser is used to heat the tissue at the back of the eye to seal the holes in the macula. A sterile gas bubble is then put into the eye to keep pressure on the eye as it heals. Vitrectomies are largely successful with 9 out of 10 patients who have had a macular hole for 6 months or less. For macular holes that have progressed for longer, the success rate is lower as well. If surgery does not close the hole, it will at minimum stabilize vision and the patient will likely have less vision distortion.
If you have changes in your vision that describes a macular hole, contact Associated Retina Consultants as soon as possible. For all your eye care needs and services, book with us by calling 602-242-4928 or scheduling conveniently online at WEBSITE.