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Macular Hole

I know it sounds obscene, but it’s actually a hole in the retina of the eye. I found out yesterday that I have one. I went for a routine exam and to my surprise I was practically blind in that eye. Apparently I need surgery to repair it, but I’m not sure that will restore the vision. Fortunately the sight in my other eye is 20/20, which is why I hadn’t noticed it. I’m seeing a retina specialist next week, but I’m very anxious. Has anyone here had that surgery or know something about it?

by Anonymousreply 19October 13, 2021 11:46 PM

How could you not notice?

by Anonymousreply 1October 13, 2021 4:03 PM

Believe it or not, the good eye was compensating for the bad one. It’s not painful. I never cover up one eye to see if the other one is working. Do you?

by Anonymousreply 2October 13, 2021 4:18 PM

My sister just had the same problem and had surgery a few months ago. She said the worst part about the surgery was that post-op she had to keep her head tilted downward (I.e. staring at the floor) at all times for a few days. This included having to sleep in a special chair the she rested head in facing downward while sleeping. Also, a side effect of the surgery is that cataract development is exacerbated. She’s having the cataract surgery now.

by Anonymousreply 3October 13, 2021 4:29 PM

Well if you didn't know you have it, how will you know if it has been fixed?

by Anonymousreply 4October 13, 2021 4:52 PM

[quote]I never cover up one eye to see if the other one is working. Do you?

No, but there are a lot of times I close one eye.

by Anonymousreply 5October 13, 2021 4:53 PM

I had the same condition -- and I, too, didn't know about it until a routine exam. (I was experiencing occasional transient feelings of nausea before the exam, which I thought was because I badly needed a new glasses prescription -- it was in fact because the vision in one eye was hosed.)

I had the vitrectomy surgery, followed by about 6 days of maintaining face-down positioning. The surgery is successful in the vast majority of cases, IF you do the face-down thing. My experience of the latter was like a lot of people's, I think -- it seems like it's going to be impossible, but turns out to be mostly boring. You have to be well-prepared, though. There's a standard set of rental equipment that will allow you to sleep and sit relatively comfortably. (It includes a kneeling chair that's something like a massage chair.) You probably won't be able to read much, but you can view streaming video on a device. Also, queue up audio books, podcasts -- whatever passes the time.

My vision in the affected eye is now about 20/30 with glasses -- that is, it's mostly recovered but will never be perfect even with correction. There's still a little blurriness and instability at the focal point when I'm looking through that eye alone. This is after cataract surgery -- as R3 said, the vitrectomy always causes a cataract to grow, so almost certainly within a year or less of the vitrectomy you'll need cataract surgery. But that's a snap in comparison -- takes about 15 minutes and by the next day your vision will be completely recovered.

by Anonymousreply 6October 13, 2021 5:44 PM

[quote]OP: I never noticed I was half blind!

Better look to make sure you still have 10 fingers and two feet, OP.

And have cognitive testing done.

by Anonymousreply 7October 13, 2021 5:46 PM

Why does it entail vitrectomy? I'm curious.

by Anonymousreply 8October 13, 2021 5:50 PM

Yea the post op is the worst of it......you'll be fine!

by Anonymousreply 9October 13, 2021 6:10 PM

Thanks R3, R6 & R9! That’s what I wanted to know. I’m scared, but I’m sure I can do it. I already had cataract surgery.

Clarification: The affected is eye is not totally blind. The vision is 20/200 in it so I can’t read anything (like most of the letters on the eye chart), but I can still see my surroundings. I can see the TV screen, but the picture is kind of blurry. If I get close enough to my I Pad and turn my head a little, I can even read the words with effort. It’s weird because the hole is in the middle of my retina so there is a hole in the middle of what I see with that eye.

by Anonymousreply 10October 13, 2021 6:17 PM

So what is the difference? Scared or not, you have to get it fixed anyway, so do it.

by Anonymousreply 11October 13, 2021 6:20 PM

Oh yeah, I’m definitely going to get it fixed. Just wanted to know what to expect.

by Anonymousreply 12October 13, 2021 6:22 PM

The more recently the macular hole occurred, the more likely it will be a successful repair.

This happened to a good friend and he, like so many on this thread, complaining about having to basically lay on his face for a week or so.

Apparently, the doctor sucks out the jelly in the eye (vitrectomy) and replaces it with a gas. When you sleep on your face, the gas rises and pushes the macula to the back of the eye, where it should be. The gas slowly dissipated and the macula stays attached.

The macula is vital because all the color vision and sharp vision comes from that small part of the retina.

by Anonymousreply 13October 13, 2021 6:23 PM

R6 again. As you age, the vitreous gradually contracts, pulling away from the retina which is sort of the back wall of the eye. Normally this is no problem -- the body produces fluid which replaces the vitreous. A macular hole happens when a bit of the vitreous sticks to the retina as it's contracting -- so it pulls on the retina and distorts it.

As R13 said, in a vitrectomy the vitreous is removed completely and replaced -- temporarily -- with a gas bubble. When you maintain the face-down position after the vitrectomy, the gas bubble presses against the retina, which closes the macular hole (or heals the detached retina if that's the problem). The gas bubble dissipates over the course of a week or so, and is replaced by the fluid that the body produces naturally when the vitreous is absent.

It's kind of a wonder that they figured out that this would work, but it does.

by Anonymousreply 14October 13, 2021 6:30 PM

I really don’t know how long I’ve had it. The ophthalmologist I was seeing said I needed to see the retinal specialist the same day, but when they called to make an appointment, the specialist said a week wouldn’t make any difference.

by Anonymousreply 15October 13, 2021 6:44 PM

R15, yes, the more docs know about macular holes the more they realize it's not a emergency, particularly if it happened a while ago.

by Anonymousreply 16October 13, 2021 6:50 PM

Op, can I have your stuff?

by Anonymousreply 17October 13, 2021 7:07 PM

Thank you for the answers about the vitrectomy and the cause of the macular hole. Same thing and cause as a retinal tear, then, only in the macula specifically, it sounds like. I've had a retinal tear, successfully repaired w/o surgery.

by Anonymousreply 18October 13, 2021 7:17 PM

Small Retinal tears can sometimes be treated with lasers to tether them back down.

Macular holes can’t be lasered as it’s too dangerous to point that much laser heat at the center of your vision

by Anonymousreply 19October 13, 2021 11:46 PM
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