The macula is a small area in the center of the retina where light is sharply focused to produce the detailed color vision needed for tasks such as reading and driving. When a full-thickness defect develops in the macula, the condition is referred to as macular hole.
The most common symptom of macular hole is a gradual decline in the central (straight-ahead) vision of the affected eye. This can occur as:
- Distortion (straight lines appearing wavy)
- A dark spot in the central vision
The degree to which vision is affected will depend on the size and location of the macular hole, as well as the stage of its development and its duration.
Vitrectomy with ILM peeling and Gas is the most common treatment for macular holes. In this surgical procedure, the vitreous gel is removed to stop it from pulling on the retina. The inner membrane called the internal limiting membrane (ILM) is removed, and a gas bubble is placed in the eye to gently hold the edges of the macular hole closed until it heals.