Macular hole

What is a macular hole?

A macular hole is a small gap which opens up in the macula, found at the centre of the retina. The macula is responsible for sharp and detailed central vision. It also plays a key role in reading, writing and recognising colour.

A macular hole tends to occur in people aged from 60 to 80, although it can occur at an earlier age. Only one eye is normally affected but there is a 10% chance that the other eye could develop a macular hole in the future.

The cause of macular holes is not known but it may occur when the vitreous (the jelly-like substance inside the eye) starts to shrink and pull away from the retina and macular at the back of the eye.

What are the symptoms of macular hole?

This condition is painless and can occur without warning. Most patients who have macular hole will notice a gradual loss of central vision, where straight lines appear blurred or distorted (wavy). Reading and performing other routine tasks with the affected eye will often become difficult.

When should I see a doctor?

If a macular hole is left untreated, central vision will often continue to get worse. Evidence shows that early treatment of a macular hole – within months, gives a better outcome to improve vision.

If you experience any of the symptoms described above, you should see your GP or optician as soon as possible. You will typically be referred for consultation with an ophthalmologist.  

What treatments are available?

While some macular holes can seal themselves and require no treatment, surgery is necessary in many cases to help improve vision.

At Circle Health, we can arrange a private clinical appointment for you to visit a leading consultant ophthalmologist who specialises in macular hole surgery using the latest technology. They can closely assess your condition, and advise you about the macular hole surgery that would be most appropriate for you.

Book a private appointment. Please use our enquiry form


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