The macula is a very small area at the center of the retina - a thin layer of light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. Light rays are focused onto the retina, where they are transmitted to the brain and interpreted as the images you see. It is the macula that is responsible for your pinpoint vision, allowing you to read, sew or recognize a face. A macular hole is a small break in the macula, the part of your eye responsible for detailed, central vision. Sometimes macular holes are the result of an injury or a medical condition that affects the eye. In some people, it seems to be a side effect of the changes that normally occur in the eye as we age. The cause of most macular holes, however, is not known.
It is rare for someone to develop a macular hole in both eyes at the same time therefore the symptoms will most likely be experienced in one eye only. The symptoms people with a macular hole may experience are: A decrease in the ability to see fine details when a person is looking directly at an object, no matter how close or far away it is, a change in vision that makes a person feel like he or she is looking through a dense fog or thick wavy glass, or the appearance of a dark spot across the middle of the field of view. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a macular hole it is important to immediately contact Dr. Calotti's office to have your retina thoroughly examined.
To treat a macular hole patients undergo a vitrectomy surgery. The surgery consists of making very small incisions on the white part of the eye (the sclera). After the vitreous gel is removed, the surgeon peels a very thin membrane called the "internal limiting membrane" from the surface of the retina around the macular hole. A gas bubble is then placed in the vitreous cavity. Newer surgical techniques and instrumentation may allow the surgeon to perform the surgery in some cases through tiny "self-sealing" incisions that do not require sutures. Eye drops or ointments are used for several weeks after surgery to facilitate healing. The gas bubble will gradually go away over several weeks following surgery.