A retinal hole occurs when there is a hole or gap in the tissue at the back of the eye (the retina). Retinal holes should not be left undiagnosed or untreated. The hole can pass fluid through, potentially causing retinal detachment which can lead to blindness.
A common cause of retinal hole development is aging. As we age, the interior gel-like substance which helps shape our eyes (vitreous) can shrink or separate –pulling away from the retina and causing a hole.
Symptoms of a Retinal Hole
Oftentimes there aren’t noticeable symptoms of a retinal hole in the early stages. Some common symptoms of retinal holes are:
- Blurred or “wavy” vision
- Appearance of floaters and flashes
- Cloudy vision
Diagnosis & Treatment of a Retinal Hole
Because retinal holes may not always cause symptoms, it is important to follow your eye doctor’s recommendations for regular comprehensive eye exams. During a comprehensive exam, your doctor will dilate your pupil to get a good view of your retina. This is when they will be able to evaluate retinal health and diagnose any retinal issues.
An eye doctor can diagnose, monitor, and treat retinal problems. Every treatment plan is customized to your unique condition. Depending on the severity of a retinal hole and other factors such as your medical history, your doctor may recommend a procedure like a vitrectomy, or perhaps no treatment at all if they believe the hole may heal on its own.