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Sometimes, a small break may occur in the retina. This is known as a macular hole. Usually a macular hole occurs in patients over 60. When this occurs, patients can notice blurred or distorted central vision.
Sometimes, no surgery is necessary, as macular holes can seal themselves. But surgery is often necessary to improve vision and to prevent further damage. Usually a vitrectomy is performed to remove the vitreous gel to prevent it from pulling on the retina. This vitreous is replaced with a bubble containing gas that acts as a temporary bandage to hold the macular hole in place as it heals.
Surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. After surgery, patients must remain in a facedown position for one to two days. More difficult cases may require three weeks spent resting in such a position. This allows the air bubble to press against the macular hole as it heals. Although uncomfortable, this is a crucial step to the success of the surgery.
A macular pucker, also commonly known as an epiretinal membrane, is scar tissue that develops around the macula. A macular pucker often causes blurred and distorted central vision. A macular pucker is also known as cellophane maculopathy, retina wrinkle, surface wrinkling retinopathy, epiretinal membrane, preretinal membrane, internal limiting membrane disease, and premacular fibrosis.
Symptoms can greatly vary from no loss to severe loss of vision. Some patients may start to notice lines appearing wavy or their vision becoming blurry. Some patients may also notice difficulty seeing fine detail when reading, or even a blind spot.
In most cases, a macular pucker doesn’t require treatment. In many cases the symptoms of blurriness or distortion are mild. Most patients can adjust to mild visual distortion, even while reading or driving a car. In some rare cases, the vision can decline to the point that daily activity becomes impossible. When this happens, surgeons will typically perform a vitrectomy. After the surgery, the patient will wear an eye patch for a few days and will also use medical eye drops for up to a few weeks to guard against infection.
As always, Harvard Eye is first and foremost concerned about what is best for each individual patient. Call us today for your personalized consultation!
Harvard Eye Associates
Laguna Hills Office
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24401 Calle de la Louisa
Laguna Hills, California 92653
Harvard Eye Associates
San Clemente Office
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665 Camino de los Mares
San Clemente, California 92673
The eye doctors of Harvard Eye Associates perform advanced technology diagnostic testing and treatment, as well as taking the time necessary to provide each patient with information needed to fully understand his or her condition and to achieve the best possible visual outcome.
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New techniques or improvements in a current technique are occasionally introduced to the medical world.
Harvard Eye Associates is a FDA clinical research study center for emerging technology. This great honor makes it possible for us to offer qualifying patients access to advancements in eye care not yet available to the general public.
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We've dedicated sections of our website expressly to list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers, covering cataract surgery, glaucoma, retina, LASIK, macular degeneration, dry eyes and more, plus an online form where you may submit questions directly to an eye doctor.
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Internationally regarded as the go-to specialist in eye care, Harvard Eye offers a combined experience of over 100 years and over 100,000 surgical procedures. The doctors of Harvard Eye Associates have treated virtually every known eye condition there is, plus a few previously unknown.
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