When there is a rupture in the macula tissue of the eye, it can cause hindrance to vision. In order to treat this eye problem, the doctor may opt for a surgery. Undergoing this surgery has proved to be fruitful for patients suffering from this disorder, as it corrects the impairment and also restores normal vision.
The retina is a vital part of the eye, composed of nerve cells, which provides vision. This part of the eye has a pigmented spot, called the macula, which enables acute and sharp vision. The macula is made up of cones that are light sensitive cells responsible for recognizing colors, faces, etc., while the rest of the retina is compiled of rod cells. These photosensitive cells are able to differentiate between black and white, shape and movement, etc.
A strain in the macula may result in a hole in the retina, also referred to as macular hole, which causes vision distortion. This condition is a common occurrence during the process of aging, and may first develop in individuals, who are above 60 years of age. Women are more susceptible to getting a macular hole, as compared to men.
About Macular Hole
When the macula breaks or tears, it can cause a hole in the center of retina. This can result in blurred vision and cause difficulty in focusing properly. People who have this eye problem, may suffer from temporary loss of vision, or have a distorted and blurry vision. Reading and everyday tasks may become difficult due to this problem. The holes can increase in size and completely detach the retina from the eye ball. In some cases, retinal holes may heal without any medical treatment, however, surgical intervention may be required for the complete cure of this eye problem, without which, it can impair a person’s sight permanently.
Earlier retinal holes were considered to be untreatable. People had to live with this eye problem and would eventually turn blind, due to the absence of proper treatment. However, due to advancements in the medical field, proper treatment can be administered to restore the patient’s vision. Vitrectomy is normally opted to replace the damaged vitreous membrane and help the person see clearly again. This membrane, which is made of gelatinous material, can suffer damages due to an injury or trauma, infections and diseases that may impair the vision. This surgical procedure is also performed for the correction of blurred vision, repair scar tissues as seen in macular pucker.
Ophthalmologists may also recommend this surgical procedure to correct other eye problems, like, a torn retina, retinal detachment, or retinopathy (non-inflammatory damage to the retina). Vitrectomy surgery is mostly done in the outpatient department, however, in some cases the patient may be required to stay in the hospital for a day prior to the scheduled time of surgery. During the stay, diagnostic tests are performed to assess the health of the patient and also, the intensity of the retinal hole. This surgery is usually carried out under general or local anesthesia, and the duration of the procedure is approximately two to four hours, depending on the size of the hole. With the help of microscopic incisions made in the eye, the damaged vitreous is cut and suctioned out with the help of surgical tools.
Replacements like silicone oil, saline-based solution, or an intraocular gas compound are placed in the eye, which mimics the function of the original vitreous membrane. This then stabilizes and maintains the pressure in the eye. After this, the replaced vitreous is held in place and the incisions are closed with the help of absorbable sutures. In order to avoid infections, antibiotic drops or injections are also administered. The surgery may also be carried out with the help of lasers. Post surgery, an eye patch may be placed over the eye to enhance healing. This patch also prevents any foreign body from entering the eye. The recuperation may take approximately four weeks, after which, the individual can resume his routine.
There are also a few risk factors associated with vitrectomy. Some individuals may experience infections in the vitreous membrane, followed by swelling. It has also been observed that some people may suffer from retinal detachment and even develop glaucoma or cataract; requiring additional surgery for correcting the problem. However, most people may only notice a mild form of discomfort and blurred vision, which may go away after complete healing and recovery.
Undergoing timely surgery will prevent this eye problem from becoming intense, which can otherwise result in total blindness. Your ophthalmologist is the best person who can guide you on the treatment options for eye problems and help restore vision.