Macular Holes

A macular hole is an eye condition that affects the macula, which is part of the retina. The vision experts at Retina Vitreous Associates are board-certified and fellowship-trained retina specialists with experience in diagnosing and treating macular holes.

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What is a Macular Hole?

Your retina is a thin layer of light sensitive tissue in the back of your eye. The macula is the central portion of your retina responsible for detailed vision. A hole in your macula will compromise your central vision.

Early detection is important because macular holes can worsen with time and they are more easily treated in earlier stages. A macular hole that is not treated within a reasonable time frame may not be amenable to repair after excessive delay. Rarely, a macular hole may cause a detached retina, which is an urgent and sight-threatening condition.

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Macular Hole Symptoms

The symptoms of a macular hole can be similar to other conditions, such as macular degeneration. Please see a specialist for an accurate diagnosis if you experience any of these symptoms:

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What Causes a Macular Hole?

A macular hole is more common later in life. There is no way to prevent a macular hole, but you should have regular dilated eye exams if you have any of these risk factors:1

  • Over 55 years of age
  • Diabetic eye disease
  • Eye injury or trauma
  • A high level of nearsightedness
  • History of retinal tears, detachments, or diseases

Macular holes usually develop in one eye, but 10 to 15% of patients with a macular hole will eventually develop one in their other eye as well.2

Macular Hole Treatment

If you have a macular hole, your treatment plan and prognosis will depend on how long you have had it, as well as the size and location of the macular hole. A surgery called vitrectomy is recommended in most cases. Your retina surgeon will also place a special gas bubble against the retina to hold the tissue together while the hole heals.

Contact Retina Vitreous Associates

At Retina Vitreous Associates, we are committed to providing world class specialty vision care. Contact us with any questions about macular holes or other retinal conditions.


1 The American Society of Retina Specialists. Macular Hole. Available: https://www.asrs.org/patients/retinal-diseases/4 Accessed August 11, 2020.
2 National Eye Institute. Macular Hole. Available: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/macular-hole Accessed August 11, 2020.

The doctors at Retina Vitreous Associates have either authored or reviewed the content on this site.

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