How Do You Know If You Have a Macular Hole?
The retina is made up of 2 main parts, the peripheral retina and the macula. The macula is in the center of the retina and processes what you see in your direct field of vision providing clear, sharp eyesight. Over time, the macula may thin and lose cells responsible for vision. While age-related macular degeneration is a common eye disease associated with the macula that is the current leading cause of vision loss in older adults, a macular hole is an unrelated, rare eye condition that blurs central vision. Macular holes are created when an opening is made in the macula. This primarily happens when the vitreous, the gel-like substance that fills the eye, changes in consistency and shrinks, pulling on the central macula causing a hole to form. A secondary macular hole occurs because of an injury or trauma to the eye, inflammation known as uveitis or a high degree of myopia.
How do you know if you have a macular hole? Early symptoms include blurred vision, distorted vision where straight lines appear wavy and difficulty reading small print. A more advanced symptom of a macular hole is a dark or blind spot in the center of vision. Risk factors include age, being female, experiencing eye trauma, severe nearsightedness and previous eye surgeries. The most common treatment for a macular hole is a vitrectomy to remove and replace the vitreous. There is currently no prevention option for macular hole. Basic eye care for risk reduction of all eye conditions and diseases includes wearing protective eyewear when in the sun and playing sports, maintaining a healthy diet that controls blood sugar and blood pressure and regular eye exams to assess the health of your eyes and the quality of your vision.
Signs of a macular hole are consistent with other eye conditions such as a retinal detachment; in fact, left untreated, a macular hole could lead to a detached retina. The best advice is to seek the care and treatment of an ophthalmologist as soon as your notice changes to your vision. A macular hole is not as great a concern as a retinal detachment as it is possible for a macular hole to heal on its own, but you will need a proper diagnosis to be sure you do in fact have a macular hole versus another retinal condition that may permanently threaten your vision.
For retinal imaging, visit the retinal care specialists at Associated Retina Consultants. A comprehensive eye exam will allow us to determine if your symptoms are caused by a macular hole and how we can monitor your eye health to provide you with effective solutions for better vision. Call 602-242-4928 or book online at WEBSITE.