A macular hole is a small hole in the central part of the retina which can lead to distortion and blurring of central vision. They can be detected by a scan of the back of the eye. Macular holes are not related to macular degeneration.
There may be no symptoms in the early stages of a macular hole and clarity of vision can still be good. As a hole gets bigger, patients may notice distortion and blurring of vision. The cause of a macular hole is not always clear, but on some occasions may be related to a shrinkage of the jelly filling the posterior part of the eye (the vitreous) which then pulls on the macula (vitreo-macular traction). However in many cases the cause is not apparent.
Vitrectomy surgery is the main treatment offered and involves the removal of the vitreous gel from the eye, which is then replaced by a bubble of inert gas allowing the hole to close. Other treatments include injections of ocriplasmin (Jetrea) into the eye to separate the vitreous gel from the retina.