A macular hole and macular degeneration are not the same things. Macular holes and age-related macular degeneration are two separate and distinct conditions, although the symptoms for each are similar. Both conditions are common in people age 60 and over. An eye care professional will know the difference.
The cause of a macular hole can be the result of:
- The vitreous pulling on the retina
- Certain eye conditions.
(Click Causes of a Macular Hole for more information.)
Macular holes can be associated with various eye conditions. While not a specific cause, these eye conditions increase a person's chance of developing a macular hole. These are known as risk factors, and include some of the following conditions:
- High myopia (nearsightedness)
- Macular pucker
- Retinal detachment
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Best's disease
- Injury to the eye.
There are three macular hole stages, based on its size, location, and severity:
- Foveal detachment (stage I)
- Partial-thickness hole (stage II)
- Full-thickness hole (stage III).