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What Is A Macular Hole And How Do You Know If You Are At Risk?

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By Author: Private Practice of Mr Mahi Muqit PhD FRCOphth
Total Articles: 34
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Macular holes are when there is a small break in the macular. The macular is found in the centre of the retina, which is the eyes light sensitive tissue. It is responsible for providing sharp central vision, which is needed for driving, reading and for fine details.

When a macular hole happens, it causes distorted and blurred vision in your central vision.
Macular holes are usually related to the natural ageing process and are common in those over the age of sixty. There is often confusion between age related macular degeneration and a macular hole, but they are two completely different eye conditions, even though the symptoms are very similar. Both are common in those over sixty.

There are three stages of a macular hole, which you may be diagnosed with. The first stage is Foveal detachments, which half will heal on their own without treatment and the other half will progress. The second stage is partial thickness holes, which without treatment seventy percent will continue to progress and thirty percent recover on their own. Full thickness holes are the third stage and the size of the hole and its location ...
... determines how much it effects the vision.

Stage three macular holes usually cause most of the detailed and central vision to be lost. If ignored it can lead to a detached retina, which could cause sight threatening conditions in the long run.

Macular holes start off gradually with most patients only noticing slight blurring or distortion when looking at straight lines or objects, which start to look wavy or bent. It can become harder to read and carry out routine tests, as this eye condition progresses.

They eye is mostly filled with what is known as a vitreous gel. The vitreous gel is a gel like layer that fills around eighty percent of the eye, helping it maintain its shape. The vitreous comprises of fine fibres, which are attached the retina surface. As we get older, the vitreous shrinks, pulling away from the retina. Natural fluids then fill the area where the vitreous contracts.

This is completely normal and there are are no adverse effects. Some people may experience floaters or an increase in floaters, which looks like spider webs or specs that float around your field of vision. When you try and look directly at them, they dart away.

If the vitreous is still firmly attached the retina when it pulls away, it can cause a retinal tear, which can cause a macular hole. Sometimes not all the vitreous fibres pull away from the retina, as they contract they increase the tension on the retina, which can also result in a macular hole. Macular holes can also be a result of an eye condition, such as being very near sighted, having an eye injury or experiencing a retinal detachment. In some rare cases a macular pucker can cause a macular hole.

In the event you have been diagnosed with a macular hole, then there is a fifteen percent change one will develop in your other eye at some point in your life. Your ophthalmologist will discuss this with you in more detail.

Some macular holes are able to seal on their own without treatment, but most cases require surgery. The surgery helps to improve your vision. This is called a vitrectomy, which is when the vitreous gel is removed to prevent it pulling on the retina and replaced with a bubble of gas or fluid. The bubble is a temporary bandage, holding the macular hole in place as it heals.

About Us: Mahi Muqit is a leading consultant ophthalmologist, cataract and vitreoretinal surgeon at two private clinics in London, United Kingdom. He provides patients with superior service and support with a range of surgical procedures to meet their eye sight requirements. He has built up a solid reputation for his eye services in the London area as an expert eye doctor and surgeon offering surgical retina, medical retina and complex cataract surgery. He also offers surgery to patients suffering from diabetic retinopathy. Mahi Muqit is a member of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, a member of the British and Eire Association of Vitreoretinal Surgeons and the UK and Ireland Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons. To find out more, visit https://www.retinasurgeon.uk.com

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