PAUL PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Macular hole on the retina of the eye, ophthalmoscope image. The hole is the red dot at centre, in the darker macula. The macula is the area of the retina responsible for the sharpest vision. The presence of the hole causes severe disturbances of the visual field, with a dark spot forming at the centre of vision and blurring and degradation of the surrounding field. The hole is caused by shrinkage of the vitreous humour, the gel-like fluid that fills the rear part of the eyeball. Its shrinkage pulls on the macula, creating the hole. The condition may be treated by removal of the vitreous humour attached to the macula, although damage may be permanent.
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