A macular hole is a small hole in the central part of the retina which can lead to distortion and blurring of central vision. The eye contains a jelly-like substance called the vitreous and with age, the vitreous contracts and pulls away from the retinal surface. Usually, this separation occurs without noticeable negative effect. The patient might notice floaters but there is no significant visual damage. For some people, however, in spots where the vitreous is firmly attached to the retinal surface, pulling can occur on the retina and a small hole may eventually form in the macula. In addition, as we age the vitreous fluid becomes more liquid and less gel-like. It can readily seep through the resulting imperfection and cause a dark spot or defect in the patient’s central vision noticed through distortion and loss of central vision.

A macular hole normally only occurs in one eye, although they are present in both eyes in 10-15% of cases. They can be detected by a scan of the back of the eye. Macular hole symptoms often begin gradually and become more severe as the disease progresses. There may be no symptoms in the early stages of a macular hole and clarity of vision can still be good. As a hole progresses, patients may notice distortion and blurring of vision. An early macular hole symptom is straight lines that look crooked or wavy. A late-stage macular hole symptom is the loss of most of your central vision.

The severity of macular hole symptoms will depend on the size of the hole and its location on the retina.

Early Macular Hole Symptoms

With early macular hole symptoms, people may notice a slight distortion or blurriness in their straight-ahead vision. Straight lines or objects can begin to look bent or wavy. Reading and performing other routine tasks with the affected eye becomes difficult.

Late-Stage Macular Hole Symptoms

As a macular hole progresses to stage III, symptoms may include:

  • Loss of most central and detailed vision
  • Detached retina, a sight-threatening condition that should receive immediate medical attention.

These macular hole symptoms are not always a sure sign of a macular hole. Other conditions can cause these symptoms as well. If you have possible macular hole symptoms, it is important that you see your eye doctor right away so that the problem can be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible.

Contact Dr. Lemley in Medford right away if you suspect a macular hole or if you are suffering from any other vision problems. Call 541-779-4711 or visit medfordretinacare.com to schedule an appointment at Medical Eye Center today.