It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Rahul Reddy. Click here to read more
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Rahul Reddy. Click here to read more Patient Portal Career Center (602) 242-4928

Managing Macular Holes: Surgical Options and Recovery

The diagnosis of a macular hole can be unsettling, but understanding the condition and available treatment options are the first steps towards recovery and vision restoration. Macular holes are a relatively common eye condition that can significantly impact central vision and daily life. 

The macula is a small but essential part of the retina located at the back of the eye. It is responsible for sharp, central vision needed for activities such as reading, driving and recognizing faces. A macular hole is a defect or opening in the macula which can disrupt central vision and lead to visual distortion or loss. The exact cause of macular holes is not always clear, but they often develop as a result of age-related changes in the vitreous, the gel-like substance that fills the inside of the eye. As the vitreous shrinks and pulls away from the retina, it can create traction on the macula, leading to the formation of a hole.

Detecting a macular hole typically involves a comprehensive eye examination, including a dilated eye exam and imaging tests such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) to visualize the macula’s structure. In some cases, small macular holes may not require immediate treatment and can be monitored closely for any changes in vision. For most cases, surgical intervention in the form of a vitrectomy will be necessary. Fortunately, for more than 90% of cases, surgery is effective. Macular holes that are recently developed, 6 months or less, have the most optimal and repairable outcomes. 

A macular hole surgical procedure involves removing the vitreous gel and any scar tissue that may be pulling on the macula. The surgeon then fills the eye with a gas bubble to help close the macular hole and promote healing. Recovery from a vitrectomy requires patients to maintain a face-down position for a period of time, usually a week, to ensure proper positioning of the gas bubble over the macular hole, allowing it to seal and heal effectively.

Managing macular holes during rehabilitation is important. Post-operative care includes using prescribed eye drops, avoiding strenuous activities and maintaining proper positioning as instructed. Improved vision after surgery may be gradual so be prepared to be patient as eyesight slowly becomes clear again. Keep your ongoing follow-up appointments with your eyecare provider to ensure proper healing and discuss any changes in your progress. Some patients will require low-vision aids, magnifiers and occupational therapy in order to adapt to vision changes and to maximize remaining vision.
If you experience blurred or distorted central vision, difficulty reading or performing close-up tasks, a dark or empty area in the center of vision and straight lines appearing wavy or bent, call Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 to expedite a comprehensive eye exam. To learn more about managing macular holes with surgical options and recovery as well as other retina-affected eye conditions, visit WEBSITE.