The macula is the center of the retina. Old age, trauma, or inflammation may cause a hole in the macula, which reduces central (reading) vision. Macular holes unfortunately do not improve on their own. Surgery can often restore some degree of central vision. Like any type of eye surgery, the risks of surgery include bleeding, infection, retinal detachment, and permanent loss of vision. These risks are small and in most cases can be dealt with successfully, but the risks do exist and patients can experience further vision loss. For most patients with macular hole, the potential benefits of surgery outweigh the risks, and most patients choose to proceed with surgery.