A macular hole is a defect in the macula, which is the center part of the retina that gives us sharp reading vision. Macular holes usually develop as a result of the natural aging process and called idiopathic macular holes. These occur primarily in the sixth through eighth decades of life.

Less commonly, macular holes can be caused by blunt trauma or seen in patients with retinal detachments or severe swelling of the retina. In the early stages of macular hole formation, the hole may only cause a small distortion of the central vision. As the macular hole progresses, the vision will worsen but will not cause complete blindness.