The retina is light-sensitive lining of the eye, and the macula is the part that is responsible for sharp (central) vision. A macular hole is a small gap in the centre of the macula. Symptoms of a macular hole include reduced vision (blurriness), distortion (metamorphopsia) and/or blind spots (scotomata). If left untreated, in the majority of patients the central vision will gradually get worse to a level where the patient is unable to read the largest letter on an eye test chart. The condition does not affect the peripheral vision, which means the condition does not lead to complete blindness.
A macular hole is repaired by an operation called a vitrectomy. If the hole has been present for less than a year, the operation will close the hole in 9 out of 10 cases. Of these, 7 out of 10 will be able to see 2 or 3 more lines more down the standard Snellen vision chart, compared to before the operation. If this does not occur, the vision may be stabilized and distortion may improve. A second operation can sometimes be successful in closing the hole.
If you are interested in reading more about the condition and the surgery itself, please refer to the BEAVRS leaflet by clicking on the link below.