From 40 regularly to the ophthalmologist

You can go blind from glaucoma

The most insidious eye disease is glaucoma, also known as glaucoma. About 500,000 people in Germany suffer from the disease, which is mainly caused by excessive intraocular pressure. One in ten people are at risk of losing their sight. “People go blind because they don’t notice anything for a long time,” says Dr. Georg Eckert of the German Association of Ophthalmologists (BVA): “There are probably a high number of unreported cases of glaucoma. eye practices, an average of twelve percent of all patients are – successfully – treated for glaucoma,” says the ophthalmologist. According to the expert, the disease is the second cause of blindness in this country. This is actually unnecessary, as glaucoma can be treated well if diagnosed in time, Eckert says.

Macular degeneration is a widespread disease

Hardly anyone knows the term “age-related macular degeneration (AMD)” – the disease is the most common cause of blindness in this country. AMD usually occurs after the age of 50. About a third to a fifth of Germans over the age of 75 are affected. In disease, sensory cells die at the point of sharpest vision. Affected individuals initially notice a blurry spot or gray shadow when reading, but feel no pain. There are two forms of AMD: The dry form is rather slow and insidious. In the wet form, blood vessels proliferate in the retina. This leads to very rapid vision loss. The main risk factors for AMD are smoking and high blood pressure. You can avoid this by not smoking and eating a healthy, vitamin-rich diet. Macular degeneration can also be treated well if discovered in time.

Almost everyone has cataracts

In more than 90% of people over 65, the lens gradually becomes cloudy – age-related cataracts, also called cataracts, develop. In the early stages, vision is hardly affected, later sufferers have the feeling of seeing through cloudy glass or a veil. However, according to Georg Eckert, the disease is easy to treat. About 600,000 Germans are fitted with an artificial lens every year. The view is thus fully restored. (Cataracts – What if the lens of the eye becomes cloudy?)

Diabetes puts the retina at risk

Another cause of blindness is diabetic retinopathy. In this disease, the small blood vessels in the eye are damaged by diabetes. Visual acuity deteriorates, the field of vision is restricted and in extreme cases one can become blind. Type 1 diabetics are particularly at risk because they often become ill at a young age. But it can also affect type 2 diabetics, especially if their blood sugar is poorly controlled. It can be prevented by regular diabetes treatment. If the retina is already massively damaged, only surgery or laser therapy can help.

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