Macular hole

A macular hole is a small hole in the macula which is in the centre of the retina.

A macular hole is a small hole in the macula which is in the centre of the retina.

What is a macular hole?

If you think of your eye as a camera, the retina is like the photographic film. It is a very thin layer of tissue, which is sensitive to the image focused on it, sending the information to the brain.

At the very centre of the retina is the macula. This is a very special area of the retina, which we use for reading and recognising complex shapes. Sometimes, a hole forms in the macula, which prevents it from working normally.  This affects your vision, particularly for reading and other visually demanding tasks, but it does not cause total blindness.

Treatment for a macular hole

The only way to treat a macular hole is by having an operation. Eye drops or glasses are ineffective.

Some patients decide not to have an operation and accept the poor central vision in the affected eye. This is reasonable, especially if the vision in the other eye is not affected. There is no “right” or “wrong” decision as every person has different needs and priorities.

You should discuss your reasons for wanting to proceed with an operation or for deciding not to have surgery with your consultant.

The operation to repair your macular hole is called a vitrectomy and usually takes about an hour. The procedure will be supervised by an experienced surgeon, who will either perform the surgery themselves or directly oversee a more junior surgeon who might undertake part or all of the operation.

Patient information leaflets

Post-operative posturing

Macular hole