Why does it happen?

We don't know why macular holes develop. The vast majority of cases happen spontaneously (without an obvious cause). They most often affect people aged 60-80, and are twice as common in women as men.

One possible risk factor is a condition called vitreomacular traction. As you get older, the vitreous jelly in the middle of your eye starts to pull away from the retina and macula at the back of the eye. If some of the vitreous jelly remains attached, it can lead to a macular hole.

A few cases may be associated with:

  • retinal detachment when the retina begins to pull away from the blood vessels that supply it with oxygen and nutrients
  • severe injury to the eye
  • being slightly long-sighted (hyperopic)
  • being very short-sighted (myopic)
  • persistentswelling of the central retina ( cystoid macular oedema )
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018