Macular Hole Statistics
My source for macular hole statistics is The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Retina/Vitreous Panel, Preferred Practice Pattern® Guidelines. Idiopathic Macular Hole 2014, Updated 2019. (Idiopathic Macular Hole Preferred Practice Pattern® – Ophthalmology
- 1991: The first year macular hole surgery was performed
- 7.8 out of 100,000 people in the general population get a macular hole.
- More than 97% of the people who get macular holes are older adults: More than 50% occur in patients ages 65-74; 3% are under age 55.
- 72% of people with macular holes are female.
- 90% of recent macular holes that are 400 micrometers or smaller are successfully closed with vitrectomy surgery.
- Macular holes that have been present for over six months have a lower closure rate following vitrectomy, and such patients have less return of vision.
- For patients whose macular holes do not close following the first surgery, 70% will close following the second surgery. However, the visual recovery will not be as good as for those that closed with the first surgery.
- 10-15% of people with a macular hole get one in the second eye within a 5-year period after the first macular hole.
- 50% improvement in vision or two lines on the Snellen (visual acuity) chart is achieved by most patients following vitrectomy for a macular hole.
- 3-11% of macular holes close spontaneously.
- Most investigators believe that macular holes are caused by pathologic vitreo–retinal traction at the fovea. Trauma may be responsible for a minority of macular hole cases.
Also see Suggested Resources for more information about helpful products and organizations, as well as the author’s contact information.
I was an educator of blind and low-vision children for 42 years. Although I have read and researched a great deal and have had extensive discussions with retinal specialists, I am not an ophthalmologist or medical doctor.
Reviewed by the author, August, 2023