If untreated, a macular hole can steal your vision — but fortunately, it’s an easily treatable condition. Experienced retina specialist Dennis O’Connell, DO, offers customized care for macular holes at InSight Retina Consultants, P.C. The earlier the diagnosis, the better you can prevent complications, so call the Aurora or Denver, Colorado, office or click the online booking link now.
A macular hole is an opening within the macula, the tissue in the middle of your retina. Your macula gives you sharp central vision, so a macular hole can disrupt your vision and prevent you from seeing fine details.
The stages of macular holes are:
Stage I, called foveal detachments, is an early-stage macular hole. Around 50% of stage I holes turn into stage II holes.
A stage II macular hole, or partial-thickness hole, progresses to the final stage around 70% of the time.
A stage III macular hole, the most serious stage, is a full-thickness hole. At this point, you may have very little central vision.
Because macular holes often progress, it's important to treat them as soon as possible. If a macular hole progresses to stage III without treatment, you could suffer retinal detachment, a medical emergency.
Macular hole symptoms can vary with the stage of the hole. Some common symptoms to watch for include:
Having regular eye exams is important in identifying macular holes as early as possible — even before you've noticed serious vision problems.
As with macular degeneration, macular holes usually happen with age. The average age of macular hole diagnosis is 68.
Macular holes happen as the vitreous body, the gel inside your eye, shrinks over time. This is a normal process, and in most cases, the vitreous body detaches cleanly. However, if the vitreous clings to the retina, it can pull the macula and cause a hole.
While aging is the main cause of macular holes, you can also develop holes following inflammatory eye disease or other disease complications. Sometimes, eye trauma can cause a macular hole.
If you have another eye problem, including macular pucker, diabetic retinopathy, or high myopia, you may be more likely to develop a macular hole.
Vitrectomy, surgery to remove the vitreous body from your eye, is the best treatment. Removing the vitreous ends the pulling that caused the hole.
Then, Dr. O'Connell injects a gas bubble over the macular hole. This encourages flattening and closure as you heal. The bubble dissipates naturally over time.
Learn more about macular hole treatment by calling InSight Retina Consultants, P.C., or click the online appointment maker now.