- Eye health and eye care
- Parents of Children with Vision Impairments
- Friends and Relatives
- Education professionals
- Health professionals
- Architects & Engineers
- Students and Researchers
- Ways you can assist a person with sight loss
- Best practice guides
Summary: This page provides information on macular holes. A macular hole is a defect in the macula or central retina.
What is the Macula?
The macula is the centre part of the retina. The retina itself is a fine sheet of nerve tissue that lines the back of the eye. When we look at something rays of light from it enter the eye and are focussed on the macula or centre retina, just like what happens when we take a picture with a camera.
What is a Macular Hole?
A macular hole is a defect in the macula or central retina. The rays of light are still focussed on the macula in the normal way but because it is damaged due to the hole, vision in the eye is both blurred and distorted. It is called a hole because the defect looks like a small hole when it is seen by the doctor when he examines the eye.
What Causes a Macular Hole?
The clear jelly attached to the front of the retina is called the vitreous gel. With advancing age, this jelly can age or degenerate causing it to pull or produce traction on the macula. If this pulling is severe it can cause a macular hole to develop. Only a single macular hole can develop from this traction. The treatment, which requires an operation, involves removing the vitreous gel in order to reduce the pulling or traction on the macula.
A macular hole tends to occur most commonly after middle age with about 70% of the total number of cases occurring in women between the ages of 60- 80 years.