Macular Hole2022-03-07T10:01:00+00:00

A macular hole is a break in the central area of your retina which causes blurred central vision

We can treat this condition with vitrectomy surgery

Book an appointment

A macular hole is a break in the central area of your retina which causes blurred central vision

We can treat this condition with vitrectomy surgery

Book an appointment
Preserve your future vision

Discover more about this condition and how treatment can improve your vision

A break or hole in the macula usually affects those aged 60 and over. It can cause blurred and distorted central vision.

The macula is the tiny, central area of your retina (the focusing surface at the back of your eye). It allows you to see things directly in front of you and lets you see colour and detail. A hole in the macula can cause blurring, blank spots and distortion of your central vision.

Macular hole

The symptoms of a macular hole are quite similar to those of macular degeneration. It is also most common in people aged 50 to 70. However, the conditions are quite different, and you should see an eye specialist if you suspect either.

A macular hole generally only affects your central vision, so your peripheral or ‘side’ vision will remain unaffected. You may have difficulty with reading and close work, and you may notice grey or black spots, or blank areas, in your vision. Macular holes usually affect one eye rather than both. However, both eyes can be affected by macular holes.

Macular holes usually develop over time, so you may not notice any symptoms until your vision is affected. Early signs include blurring and distortion of your vision. You may notice straight lines (such as window frames, telegraph poles or lines of text) appearing bent or wavy.

The Amsler Grid is a simple test that will help you determine if your vision is distorted in this way.

An Amsler Grid with straight lines as seen by a normal-sighted person

Macular hole symptoms

A person with macular problems may notice distortion of the grid pattern, such as bent lines, irregular box shapes or a grey shaded area.
Macular hole symptoms 2

The size and location of the macular hole will determine how much it affects your vision. There are also three stages of macular hole, and vision will generally deteriorate as the condition worsens.

As we age, the vitreous ‘gel’ inside the eye naturally shrinks and pulls away from the retina. Occasionally, the vitreous gel can pull on the retina and create a macular hole. In some cases, the fluid that fills the gap left by the vitreous gel may seep through the hole onto the macula, causing blurring and distortion.

Other conditions that increase risk

The presence of another eye condition may increase your chances of developing a macular hole. These include:

To detect a macular hole, an ophthalmologist or optometrist must examine the eye.

To aid with the examination, they will use dilating drops that enlarge the pupil. They will also scan the central retina, or macular, using a device called optical coherence tomography, or OCT.

Treatment is most effective when carried out early in the development of the condition. An operation called a vitrectomy can carefully remove the vitreous ‘gel’ from the affected eye and replace it with a gas that helps the macula heal.

Macular hole before surgery

Macular hole before surgery

Macular hole after surgery

Macular hole after surgery

Can a macular hole heal on its own?

Some macular holes can self resolve, but most require treatment to prevent vision loss. It is best to have an assessment with an eye care professional to follow their advice and preserve your vision.

Is there anything I can do to prevent or improve a macular hole

There is nothing you can do to prevent or improve a macular hole as the vast majority occur spontaneously without any obvious cause. Having your eyes assessed routinely is the best way for early detection and treatment of a macular hole should it develop.

Is there pain or discomfort associated with the development of a macular hole?

There are no physical sensations associated with the development of a macular hole. The only symptoms will be a gradual decline in central vision associated with blurriness, distortion or a dark spot obstructing vision.

Gain relief from a worrying eye condition

We understand that any issue with your eyes can be a weight on your shoulders. Book an appointment today, and we’ll help you get to the bottom of your issue and put your mind at ease.

Book an appointment

Gain relief from a worrying eye condition

We understand that any issue with your eyes can be a weight on your shoulders. Book an appointment today, and we’ll help you get to the bottom of your issue and put your mind at ease.

Book an appointment
Does poor vision or the limitations of glasses or contact lenses hold you back?

Choose the option below that sounds most like you to discover your best solution

Do your glasses and contacts get in your way or make you feel uncomfortable?

Do you feel a bit meh when wearing glasses or when your eyes feel dry from your contact lenses? Perhaps poor vision and the inconvenience of glasses and contacts stops you from participating in certain activities you enjoy or even simply enjoying the beautiful natural landscapes around you. Laser eye surgery could be the answer.

LEARN MORE

Are you struggling with the hassle of reading glasses?

Whether you’re new to reading glasses or have worn them your whole life, it doesn’t take long to notice how annoying they can sometimes be. Before you know it, there’s a pair of readers everywhere you look; around your neck, in your pockets, and in every room of the house. But when you need them, they’re nowhere to be found. Restore your vision (and avoid future cataract surgery too).

LEARN MORE

Is your vision becoming cloudy, blurry and dull or have you been diagnosed with cataracts?

When your glasses are no longer effective, your quality of life is impacted. At first, you might be able to muddle by. But as your vision deteriorates, your ability to function as you normally would is needlessly compromised. With modern cataract surgery, you have the choice to quickly and easily improve your vision (and even reduce your dependence on glasses).

LEARN MORE

We are proud to be associated with top quality private medical insurers

Give us a call to understand how your insurance can help cover your treatment

Gain visual freedom in 3 easy steps

Eye treatment options can be confusing. We’ve made the journey as straightforward as can be

Get in touch

The first step is to call us so we can answer any questions we can on the phone. Give our friendly team a call on 0800 99 2020 or request a call back from us.

We’ll meet

At your consultation, we’ll diagnose your issues, answer your questions and give you a clear recommendation based on your needs. You’ll confidently leave with a clear understanding of your treatment options.

Enjoy clarity

After treatment, people often tell us how pleased they were that they took action when they did. They’re often so glad that they reached out so that we could address their concerns and help them resolve their troublesome eye condition.

Watch the best patient education videos on eye treatment in New Zealand

Get a quick overview of everything you need to know about gaining visual freedom

What is SMILE eye surgery?

Looking to gain a whole new perspective on life but have questions about SMILE eye surgery? In this blog, Dr. Nick Mantell discusses Smile surgery being minimally invasive, completely pain-free, and swift with the entire process for no more than 15 minutes. Are you ready to see the world unfiltered?

READ MORE POSTS
Additional resources on treating a macular hole

Learn more about treating a macular hole from authoritative sources.

A macular hole is a small break in the macula, located in the center of the eye’s light-sensitive tissue called the retina. The macula provides the sharp, central vision we need for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail.

A macular hole can cause blurred and distorted central vision. Macular holes are related to aging and usually occur in people over age 60. Click here to read more.

What is a Macular Hole?

Macular hole is when a tear or opening forms in your macula. As the hole forms, things in your central vision will look blurry, wavy or distorted. As the hole grows, a dark or blind spot appears in your central vision. A macular hole does not affect your peripheral (side) vision.

What Causes a Macular Hole?

Age is the most common cause of macular hole. As you get older, the vitreous begins to shrink and pull away from the retina. Usually the vitreous pulls away with no problems. But sometimes the vitreous can stick to the retina. This causes the macula to stretch and a hole to form.

Sometimes a macular hole can form when the macula swells from other eye disease. Or it can be caused by an eye injury. Click here to read more.

Macular holes can occur due to:

  • Vitreous shrinkage and/or separation
  • Diabetic eye disease
  • High amounts of nearsightedness (myopia)
  • Macular pucker
  • A detached retina
  • Best’s disease (inherited condition causing macular damage)
  • Eye injury

A vitrectomy is the most common treatment for macular holes. In this surgery, a retinal specialist removes the vitreous gel to stop it from pulling on the retina. Then the specialist inserts a mixture of air and gas into the space once occupied by the vitreous.

Click here to read more.

Note: These links will take you off our website

Go to Top