These eye diseases occur at the latest in old age

These eye diseases occur at the latest in old age

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Macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma are typical eye diseases of old age

Eye diseases are one of the most widespread symptoms in older patients, although the loss of vision can lead to considerable impairments in everyday life. According to the "German Ophthalmological Society (DOG) - Society for Ophthalmology", the most common eye diseases among senior citizens are age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and the green and cataracts.

Most people would think of high blood pressure, back pain, joint wear or diabetes rather than eye problems when considering the term common disease, but according to the DOG, many eye diseases already have the status of a common disease. In Germany, about 4.5 million people would suffer from age-related macular degeneration, around one million patients would show a glaucoma, and up to 800,000 patients a year would have their eye lens replaced due to a cataract. "All of these diseases are already common diseases due to their frequency," explains the DOG spokesman.

Age-related macular degeneration
With regard to age-related macular degeneration, the DOG reports that the so-called "yellow spot" (macula) on the retina, which is responsible for essential visual performance such as reading, distinguishing colors and recognizing faces and fine details, due to the deposition function of metabolic breakdown products will be impaired. A total of around 4.5 million people in Germany are affected by the age-related retinal disease - including 1.6 million patients with the wet late form.

Glaucoma / glaucoma
According to the Society of Ophthalmology, around one million people in Germany are affected by a green star (glaucoma), and in the worst case the eye disease can lead to blindness. Glaucoma is characterized by progressive, irreversible destruction of the optic nerve. However, visual disturbances only appear "when the optic nerve is already severely damaged and the visual field is largely destroyed", the DOG said. Although the optic nerve damage is irreversible, the progression of the disease can be stopped and further vision deterioration prevented.

According to the DOG, the cataract is one of the most common eye diseases in Germany with almost ten million people affected. Each year, 600,000 to 800,000 eye lens replacement operations are performed in a cataract, making the procedure one of the most common surgical procedures. The disease is characterized by clouding of the lens with effects on the eyesight. A distinction is made between the typical "age cataract" and other forms, such as the cataract in systemic diseases (e.g. diabetes mellitus) or the drug-induced cataract. If a loss of more than 50 percent of the visual acuity is achieved, doctors usually advise an operation in which the eye lens is replaced. The eyesight can thus largely be restored. (fp)

Proof: Manfred Wöller /

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