Cataract – Only a disease of the elderly?

Carmen Lobitz
Title picture of the english expert article on cataracts
© New Africa/

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What is a cataract? Cataract is an eye condition in which the lens becomes cloudy and, in advanced stages, develops a grayish discoloration behind the pupil. The term “cataract“ (greek, meaning: “waterfall”) is derived from this whitish-gray appearance. The discoloration is caused by the gradually progressing clouding of the eye lens.

Who is most often affected?

Those mainly affected are older than 60 years. Cataracts are, therefore, also often referred to as senile  cataracts. Only in very rare cases do children and young people suffer from this disease. The probability is about 50 % in people between the ages of 52 and 64. Between the ages of 65 and 75, cataracts develop in almost everyone. Every year, more than 600,000 patients undergo cataract surgery in Germany. Of these, 90 % subsequently regain a visual performance of 50 to 100 %. Cataracts are the most common cause of blindness worldwide, especially where medical care is inadequate.

What are the causes?

Cataracts are mostly a natural consequence of aging. The proteins of the lens break down and form clumps. Cataracts can be due to several other causes, and…

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