To repair a macular hole, a bubble of air and various gases is injected directly into the eye, reports the National Eye Institute. This bubble works as a temporary bandage and allows the edges of the macular hole to assimilate.
Macular holes are small tears in the retina, states the National Eye Institute. These tears occur when tiny fibers of the vitreous fluid inside the eye pull on the retina as an individual ages. Macular holes also occur when fibers left behind on the retina cause a tear because of increased tension on the retina. These holes in the retina fill with eye fluids over time and cause sight issues. Individuals with macular holes have difficulty identifying straight lines, reading or doing any activity that requires detailed vision.
Some macular holes heal themselves over time without medical intervention, notes the National Eye Institute. To surgically treat a macular hole, the eye's vitreus fluid first must be drained to prevent further tension on the retina. Gas is then injected into the orbit, which allows the edges of the macular hole to seal over time. During this healing process, the individual must remain in a face down position so that the hole remains exposed to gas. The eye slowly fills with natural eye fluids as the gas is absorbed by the body. Recovery times average around two days, but can last up to a few weeks, depending on the condition.