Preserving eyesight: Prevention can protect eyesight in old age

Maintain eyesight
Prevention can protect the eyesight in old age

In order to protect the eyesight, regular check-up appointments with the ophthalmologist are important in old age.

© / Kampus Production

In old age, eye diseases can impair eyesight and threaten the eyesight – the World Sight Day is supposed to educate people about this.

“Curable and preventable blindness” – that is the theme for World Sight Day on October 14th. As part of the day of action, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners campaign for the right to eyesight. Particularly in old age, various eye diseases can impair vision and lead to blindness. If they are recognized early, the worst can often be prevented.

Cataracts – like a gray veil over the eyes

So-called cataracts – also known as cataracts – occur particularly frequently in old age. An estimated 10 million people are affected in this country. In 90 percent of those affected, the lens in the eye slowly becomes cloudy from the age of 60 onwards due to so-called old age. If the disease is not treated, there is a risk of blindness. Signs include blurred and blurred vision and increased sensitivity to glare. If there is any suspicion, the eye is examined by an ophthalmologist. After the diagnosis, a Cataract surgery the cloudy lens is removed from the eye and exchanged for an artificial lens. The procedure is one of the most common operations in this country.

Glaucoma – late symptoms make diagnosis difficult

The risk of developing glaucoma also increases with age. While 2.4 percent of people are affected by the age of 40, it is already 8 percent from the age of 75. Overall there is in Germany 919,000 people affected. The term encompasses several eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. The main cause of this is too high intraocular pressure. The most common form of glaucoma, also known as glaucoma, is primary open-angle glaucoma. The aqueous humor in the eye cannot drain well and the pressure rises. Those affected usually do not notice any symptoms in the early stages. For example, visual field defects only occur at an advanced stage. These can be, for example, dark spots, color changes or flashes of light in the field of vision.

The German Ophthalmological Society and the Professional Association of Ophthalmologists in Germany recommend an examination for early detection every five years in the age group between 40 and 59 years, and every two to three years from the age of 60. The costs for this will be borne by the health insurance company in individual cases. Various examinations are necessary for diagnosis, for example measuring intraocular pressure. Glaucoma is treated, for example, with eye drops or surgery.

Wet macular degeneration – fluid in the retina damages the macula

the age-related macular degeneration (AMD) causes around 5,000 blindnesses annually in this country. About 7.5 million people in Germany are affected by AMD. The reason: newly formed and brittle blood vessels grow into the retina; the escaping fluid collects in and under the retina. This harmful fluid can destroy the visual cells in the area of ​​sharp vision (macula). The affected people therefore appear faded, they see straight lines distorted, a gray spot appears in the center of the field of vision. The disease cannot be cured, but it can be slowed down. The earlier a macular degeneration is detected and treated, the more eyesight can be retained. Ophthalmologist Dr. Thoralf Wecke from the eye center in Schönebeck therefore advises you to go to preventive care from the age of 60. As part of the examination, the retina is then examined for vascular changes and fluid.

For therapy, the doctor administers drugs using a syringe into the previously anesthetized eye. “This makes it possible to prevent the disease from getting worse,” explains Dr. Wake up. For the therapy to be successful, it is important that the treatment is repeated at regular intervals.


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