In the video below, I speak about the condition known as macular hole. If you’re unable to view this video, the text is available beneath it.
Macular Holes Explained
Macular holes tend to affect women more than men, and usually people in their sixties and older. The issue with a macular hole is that there’s an abnormality in the way that the vitreous, the jelly inside the eye, peels away from the retina – this is also known as a posterior vitreous detachment. In patients with a macular hole, the vitreous still remains attached to the centre of the macula, called the fovea, as the rest of it is pulled away. The effect of this is that it pulls outwards from the centre of the macula, causing it to eventually pop and pull open a hole. We call this a dehiscence, and it’s not really usually a part of the macula that’s been removed, but just an opening up of the centre – and this is known as a macular hole.
How Does a Macular Hole Affect Vision?
A macular hole will typically affect a person’s vision by presenting itself as a little patch at the centre of their vision that’s not very clear. They might also notice that lines look distorted. This is a common feature of macular disease of any sort. After that, once the hole has developed, they might notice that there’s a patch in the centre of their vision that they just cannot see with that eye. And because of some distortion of the macula, they often experience distortion.
I usually tell the relatives of patients who can’t really understand what’s going on that when the patient looks at their nose, for example, they can’t see their nose but the face around is distorted and twisted – and most patients agree with this.