What is a Macular Hole?
The macula is the small area in the center of the retina responsible for your central vision which helps you to perform tasks such as reading, driving, and close-up work. A macular hole is a small break in the macula.
There are three stages of a macular hole:
• Foveal detachment (Stage I)
• Partial-thickness hole (Stage II)
• Full-thickness hole
At Retina Consultants of Houston, our board-certified ophthalmologist are specially trained and experienced in diagnosing, staging and treating macular holes. If left untreated, a macular hole can lead to a retinal detachment.
"Mine was, more or less, an urgent situation, so I was very lucky to be able to see her. She had a staff who did the photos/preliminary exams and they were excellent. When I saw her, she had all the results. The news was good and she gave me all the info I needed. To me, time spent was not relevant, as she gave me all the time I needed to ask questions. Since the news was good, I had very few questions."- F.A. / Healthgrades / Oct 06, 2018
"Five Stars - My husband and I have been Dr Kim’s patient for over 17 years. She is a compassionate, knowledgeable, detailed oriented doctor with excellent bedside manner. She had saved my husband’s vision from macular degeneration. We all love her and will be her faithful patients forever."- Anonymous / Vitals / Jul 19, 2018
"For the last three years I've been treated by the Retina Consultants of Houston at the Sugar Land location and have been extremely satisfied with the very professional, courteous staff and Dr. Chen. When at the office in the waiting rooms I've spoken with numerous other patients who have all had the same comments of satisfaction. My observations have always been that the staff and doctors work hard to keep patients waiting time at a minimum, while maintaining the excellent quality of care. I would not go any where else."- S.R. / Google / Jun 22, 2018
"Dr. Brown is an excellent surgeon. If you want the best, you have to make a sacrifice. I have been a patient of Dr. Brown, for decades, and I would recommend him to anyone. I would be completely blind if not for Dr. Brown, and God, the Most Holy of Holy."- M.S. / Healthgrades / May 16, 2018
"My left retina had tear in it and I had no clue of what was happening, but was referred to the Retina Consultants of Houston and was blessed with meeting Dr. Wykoff. He repaired my eye while explaining everything in detail and helping me to feel comfortable. Less than a year later my right eye did the same thing but a little worse. Nowadays, I will only let Dr. Wykoff work on me. I am seeing great today and at 58 have zero floaters, etc. This Doctor is the best."- C.P. / Google / Mar 16, 2018
Causes and Symptoms
Macular holes typically affect people over age 55 and occur more often in women. Several conditions increase the risk of developing a macular hole:
• Vitreous traction: The vitreous is the clear, jelly-like substance that fills the middle of the eye between the lens and the retina. As you age, the vitreous can begin to pull away from the retina, sometimes causing a macular hole.
• Injury or trauma to the eye
• Diabetic eye disease
• High degree of myopia (nearsightedness)
• Retinal detachment
• Macular pucker
Symptoms of a macular hole can include:
• A decline in central vision
• Blurring of vision
• Distortion, causing straight lines to appear wavy
• A dark spot in your central vision
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is used for diagnosing, staging, and managing a macular hole.
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Treatment and Prognosis
The standard treatment for macular holes is vitrectomy surgery, an outpatient procedure that involves removing the vitreous gel to stop it from pulling on the retina. A gas bubble is then placed in the eye to push against the macular hole, helping it to close and heal. Over a period of several weeks, the gas bubble slowly dissolves and is replaced with natural eye fluids.
If a macular hole is very small and is not significantly impacting vision, your retina doctor may simply observe and track its progression or natural healing.