Macular hole

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

What is 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.

What causes macular hole?

Often the cause is not known. However there are some know risk factors:

  • Macular hole is more common in women than in men
  • It most commonly occurs in people aged between 60 and 80
  • Previous history of severe eye injury or retinal detachment

What are the symptoms of macular hole?

A macular hole affects the central region of the vision used for reading and recognising other fine detail.

The symptoms will depend on the size of the hole. Whilst some people barely notice it at all, others experience:

  • Lines looking wavy
  • Blurring in the central vision
  • Distortion in the central vision
  • A small black or blank spot in the central vision 

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