The macula is a small collection of nerve cells found in the middle of the retina, where the eye focuses the images that we see. It is responsible for our central vision. With aging, some people may develop a hole in the delicate nerve fibers of the macula. Symptoms include painless loss and distortion of central vision of the affected eye.
The severity that a macular hole may have on your vision depends upon the stage of the hole. There are three stages to macular holes:
- Foveal Detachment
- Partial-Thickness Holes
- Full-Thickness Holes
Treatment of Macular Holes
Macular holes are most often treated surgically with a procedure known as a vitrectomy. During a vitrectomy surgery, the vitreous gel in the middle of the eye is removed and replaced with a gas bubble. The gas acts to pull the edges of the hole together and effectively close it over the course of several weeks. The gas dissipates on its own and the eye replaces it with its own saline fluid.