Will I Go Blind from a Macular Hole?
At the back of the retina is the macula, the region of the eye that is responsible for sharp, clear central vision. At only 5mm wide, the macula contains a high concentration of photoreceptor cells that detect light. These cells send signals to the brain to interpret the images you see with finite detail as well as color vision. Any abnormal changes to the macula will result in an immediate loss of central vision. One such change is the separation of layers of the macula, most commonly due to age, although this can occur due to either an eye injury or swelling in the macula brought on by an eye disease. Partial or complete tears or holes are created when the macula stretches due to the shrinking of the vitreous, the gel-like substance in the eye, that causes the retina to pull away from the back of the eye.
Will I go blind from a macular hole? Because the macula allows a person to see objects directly in front of them with crisp resolution, only central vision is impacted, and peripheral vision will remain intact. Macular holes never result in total blindness but can cause what is known as legal blindness, with a vision level as low as 20/400, essentially deteriorating vision to only read the letter E at the top of a standard eye chart. Sometimes macular holes heal on their own but in most cases surgery is necessary. The surgery, called a vitrectomy, involves removing the vitreous that is pulling on the macula and placing a gas bubble in the eye to flatten the macular hole and hold it in place while it heals. The healing process can take months. To the extent your vision is impaired is directly correlated to the size of the hole or tear and the length of time you have had it. To prevent blindness, any changes to vision should be reported to your eye doctor as soon as possible to diagnose the problem and begin treatment right away.
For a comprehensive eye exam that includes retinal imaging, contact Associated Retina Consultants by calling 602-242-4928 or booking your appointment online at WEBSITE. If you are experiencing a blind spot in your central vision, make sure the front office is aware so we can schedule your evaluation as soon as possible.