Macular holes most often develop after age 55 and affect women more than men, but a hole can appear at an earlier age if you suffer eye trauma. The highly skilled opthamologists at Retina Consultants of Austin, with offices in Austin, Lakeway, Marble Falls, and Round Rock, Texas, help patients prevent vision loss, repairing a macular hole with a procedure called vitrectomy. If you have questions about your symptoms or need an eye exam, call the nearest office or schedule an appointment online today.
The macula is a small area in the center of your retina that contains the cells responsible for central vision and sharp, color vision.
A macular hole develops when the retina stretches, causing an opening in the macula. This problem most often occurs when the vitreous gel that fills the center of your eye pulls away from the retina. As the vitreous pulls away, tiny fibers that connect it to the retina can tear the macula.
The cause of macular holes is seldom determined. However, you may be more likely to develop this problem if you have the following risk factors
Macular holes usually affect one eye, but can develop in both eyes.
Macular holes affect your central vision, making it hard to see things straight ahead or in front of you. You may also have symptoms such as:
As the hole enlarges, your central vision gets worse and the blind spot expands.
During your comprehensive eye exam, your provider at Retina Consultants of Austin dilates your eyes to get a good view of the retina and macula.
They often do a retinal scan called optical coherence tomography (OCT), which produces a detailed image of your retina and reveals the location, severity, and size of the macular hole.
If the macular hole is detected in an early stage, it may heal on its own. But once symptoms develop or you have a hole that goes through the retina, treatment is essential to protect your vision.
Retina Consultants of Austin treats a macular hole with a surgical procedure called vitrectomy. During the procedure, they remove the vitreous gel that fills the inside of your eye and replace it with a gas bubble.
The bubble dissolves over the next 1-2 weeks and your eye fills with natural fluids. While the bubble is in place, it gently presses against the macula, helping close the hole.
If you notice symptoms of a macular hole, don’t wait to seek treatment. Call Retina Consultants of Austin or schedule an appointment online today.