Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is macula hole surgery?"
I've been having vision trouble, and it seems like I might have a 'macula hole'. I'm not sure, because I just diagnosed myself from what I read online. If I do have a macula hole, what does this mean? Is there a way to treat it that doesn't involve some sort of dangerous surgery?
A macula hole is a small break in the macula, the part of the retina that is responsible for central vision. Injury to this area make reading and driving difficult because focusing on anything specific is very difficult. It normally occurs on older folks over the age of 60. Symptomatically a macula hole is very hard to distinguish from macular degeneration, another macular disease that sometimes occurs in older patients. This is the type of thing that would be diagnosed and treated by an ophthalmologist. A macula hole occurs when the vitreous (the fluid within the eye) begins to pull away from the retina, something that occurs as we age. In some people the vitreous pulls away with it part of the macula. The first sign is some blurriness in straight on vision. Sometimes the macular hole will heal on its own. Otherwise the only treatment is the surgery. It is a relatively simple procedure with only a few risks. However, patients need to maintain a face down position for a day or more after the operation which can be difficult. I suggest you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can test your vision and decide if you need referral to an ophthalmologist. Good luck.