Macular Hole

Friday, September 10, 2010

A macular hole is a breach in the macula, which is an oval-shaped yellow spot near the center of eye retina. A macular hole is caused by a shrinking of the vitreous humour, which is a thick, jellish-like liquid within the eye ball. The macula allow us to see the colors and fine sharp details of objects.

As a person grows older, the vitreous becomes thicker and stringier and begins to pull away from the retina. If the vitreous is firmly attached to the retina when it pulls away, it can tear the retina and create a macular hole. Also, once the vitreous has pulled away from the surface of the retina, some of the fibers can remain on the retinal surface and can contract. This increases tension on the retina and can lead to a macular hole. In either case, the fluid that has replaced the shrunken vitreous can then seep through the hole onto the macula, blurring and distorting central vision.