A macular hole is a small break in the macula, the part of the eye responsible for central and detailed vision.
The macula is a very small area in the middle of the retina (the thin layer of light sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye). The rays of light are focused on the retina, where they are transmitted to the brain and interpreted as the images that are seen. The macula is the area responsible for detailed vision, allowing us to read, sew or recognize a face.
As we age, the vitreous humor in the center of the eye shrinks away from the macula. If the vitreous humor attaches to the macula and does not peel off, the macular tissue will stretch and eventually tear into a hole.
If you have macular hole symptoms, you may have a blurred and distorted central vision.
Macular holes are associated with the natural aging process and usually occur among people over 60 years. Less common causes of macular holes include eye lesions and prolonged inflammation of the macula.
It is possible that the symptoms of a macular hole are not completely obvious during the early stages of formation. The central vision becomes blurred and distorted. If the hole progresses, a blind spot develops in the central vision and impairs the ability to see near and distant objects. In general, macular hole symptoms occur in one eye, and it rarely occurs in both eyes.
Symptoms of a macular hole include:
◦ Decreased ability to see fine details when looking directly at something from any distance;
◦ Distorted vision-like vision through thick fog or corrugated glass.
◦ A dark spot or blind spot in the center of the field of view.
If any of these symptoms happen, it is important to make an appointment with your Eye Doctor as soon as possible. Your ophthalmologist uses a special instrument to look into the eye and see if the macula has a hole in it.
It is important to note that if the macula has any damage, you will not lose your vision altogether, as the lateral or peripheral vision continues to function properly.