The macula is a small spot in the center of the retina that focuses light at a sharp point and allows us to see objects in detail. This is especially useful for reading, driving and other everyday activities that require clear vision. A macular hole often develops as part of the natural aging process, when the vitreous gel thins and separates from the macula. This can pull on the macula and cause a hole to form. Macular holes can also develop from injury, inflammation, retinal detachment or other eye diseases.
Most macular holes can be successfully treated through vitrectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the vitreous gel and stop it from pulling on the retina. The doctor then inserts a mixture of air and gas into the area to keep its shape. Vitrectomy is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia and is considered a safe and effective treatment for a macular hole.