A macular hole is a tiny hole in the centre of the retina, usually less than half a millimetre wide. Despite its small size, a macular hole can cause severe loss of vision because it is located in the centre of the macula, the most important part of the retina responsible for all your detailed central vision. A macular hole is more likely to occur in those aged over 50 years and is more common in women than men.
Macular holes usually result from the vitreous gel (the clear jelly that fills the back of the eye) shrinking and pulling on the retina, leading to a formation of a hole in the macula. Less commonly, macular holes can be caused by trauma or associated with short-sightedness (myopia)
Symptoms include a decreased ability to recognise fine details when focussing on objects near and far, cloudy/foggy vision, distortion, and a blurred area in the centre of the field of vision. Because macular holes only affect the central vision, the peripheral, or side vision is usually normal.
Macular holes can be confidently diagnosed using an Optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan. OCT uses a special diagnostic laser camera to take a detailed image of your retina which clearly shows the presence of a macular hole.