By DIANA PILKINGTON FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Thousands of people over the age of 60 develop a macular hole in their eye, which can seriously damage sight. 

Michael Mears, 75, a retired builder from Winchester, underwent an innovative technique to treat it, as he tells DIANA PILKINGTON.

THE PATIENT

When I went for an eye test four months ago, the optician said there was something wrong with my left eye.

He said I should see my GP, who referred me to the ophthalmology unit at Southampton Hospital. A scan showed I had a macular hole.

I’d never heard of this before, but it’s when a small gap opens up at the centre of the retina (the light-sensitive layer of cells at the back of the eye).

It can make your vision blurred and eventually you can get a missing patch in the centre of your vision.

Thinking about it, I realised my eyesight had been getting worse. I wore glasses anyway but I’d been having more trouble than normal reading the newspaper.

I was told I would need surgery to fix the problem before it got any worse. 

This would involve removing some of the jelly-like substance in my eye and replacing it with a ball of gas that forces the gap to close.

And because surgery involving the retina gives you a much higher risk of getting a cataract (where your lens goes cloudy), they said that at the same time they would replace the lens of the affected eye with a plastic one.

This way, I would avoid having to have a second operation later.

It sounded sensible. What’s more, with the standard procedure, you have to spend two weeks keeping your eyes and face pointing towards the ground to help the gas bubble stay in the right place, which sounded grim.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3184269/ME-OPERATION-2-1-op-banish-blind-spots-stop-cataracts.html#ixzz3hrMIc600
Source: Daily Mail                                                                                                                                                                               Image: http://www.emedicine.medscape.com

On