Purpose:

To evaluate the effect of idiopathic macular hole on eye movements during reading before and after macular hole surgery.

Methods:

Twelve patients with unilateral idiopathic full-thickness macular hole were included in this prospective case-control study. In the diseased eye, all patients underwent standard two-port pars plana vitrectomy with posterior hyaloid and ILM removal. Main outcome measures were the number and durations of fixations, and number, frequency and extent of saccades. Pre- and post-operative eye movement data in reading were recorded from operated eyes and compared with data from the other healthy eye of each patient.

Results:

When compared to controls, all eyes with macular hole consistently showed an increase of number (85 vs 72 for controls) and duration of fixations (257 msecvs 240 msec), number of regression saccades (23 vs 15) and a decrease of frequency (1.8 Hz vs 3.1 Hz) and extent of saccades (6.25 degvs 8.5 deg) before surgery. After surgery, all these parameters improved but still remained below control ones.

Conclusion:

Our findings demonstrate a relatively poor fluid reading recovery after macular hole surgery at 4 months with good anatomical results, and explain a certain reading discomfort experienced by patients despite good morphoscopic visual acuity recovery.