GREEN STAR AND CATARACT: THE DIFFERENCES

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“Star” generally means various eye diseases. The word “star” is derived from “rigid” (old German: “star”), since the “rigid gaze” was the name for the gaze of the blind in the Middle Ages. Blindness due to an eye disease is also called black star (A). White star is a white scar on the cornea. The most widespread eye diseases in Germany include cataract (grey star) and glaucoma.

 

WHAT IS CATARACT?

The cataract is an eye disease in which untreated slowly deteriorate normally crystal clear eye lens and assumes a grayish-milky color, which is why it is known universally as cataracts. The degree of opacity of the lens in cataract can assume different intensities and occur in different positions. Most often the opacity forms in the core of the eye lens, but opacities are also possible in the anterior or posterior cortex.

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WHAT IS GLAUCOMA?

Glaucoma is actually not a single eye disease, but rather a collective term for several diseases that lead to damage to the optic nerve. The normally constant intraocular pressure is generated by aqueous humor and ensures that the round shape of the eye is maintained. However, if the intraocular pressure is disturbed and too high, it presses on the optic nerve and retinal cells and damages them. If left untreated, the glaucoma can lead to blindness.

WHAT ARE THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN CATARACT AND GLAUCOMA?

Cataract and glaucoma have little in common. Both eye diseases do not heal on their own and neither glaucoma nor cataract develop suddenly, but progress slowly. Glaucoma and cataract both usually appear in the second half of life and are often recognised very late.

What are the causes of glaucoma and cataract?

Cataract are caused by the natural aging process of the lens, which usually begins slowly in anyone over the age of 50. From the age of around 65, the cataract affects almost everyone in various forms. However, factors such as smoking and diseases such as cardiovascular complaints and diabetes can significantly accelerate this development. In rare cases, cataract are congenital.

In glaucoma, the cause is usually an imbalance between the production and drainage of aqueous humor, which usually begins gradually from the age of 40 or is triggered by an inflammation. If there is insufficient drainage, the aqueous humor accumulates and increases the intraocular pressure, which presses on the optic nerve and retinal cells and damages them irreparably. Another cause of glaucoma can be insufficient blood flow to the optic nerve and retinal cells, which is favored, for example, by too high or too low blood pressure or diabetes. In very rare cases, glaucoma can also be congenital.

What are the symptoms of cataract and glaucoma?

In cataract, the position and intensity of the lens opacity determine the symptoms, which worsen over the years. Symptoms caused by cataract include impaired vision in the form of decreased visual acuity, increased sensitivity to light and myopia, and loss of color intensity or double vision.

In glaucoma, if left untreated, eyesight gradually deteriorates, which is usually only noticed when the optic nerve has already been significantly damaged. The formation of colored prisms around light sources or black spots in the corner of the eye can be signs of glaucoma. In rare cases, an acute glaucoma attack that is associated with pain can occur, but the disease is usually painless.

IS CATARACT OR GLAUCOMA CURABLE?

The biggest differences between glaucoma and cataract are in the treatment: while cataract is curable, glaucoma is only treatable.

Cataract treatment

A cataract cannot be treated with medication, but if left untreated it leads to ever greater impairment of vision. An eye operation, in which the lens is replaced by an artificial lens ( multifocal lens ), can eliminate the cataract and completely restore the eyesight. The modern femtosecond laser LenSx® is used at EuroEyes for the almost risk-free outpatient procedure, so that the operation can be performed completely without blades.

At EuroEyes, we implanted the largest number of multifocal lenses in the world. Our EuroEyes team of top ophthalmologists, who as surgeons have been performing these operations for more than 25 years with high number of surgeries and with the most modern equipment, will be happy to see you.

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Treatment of glaucoma

In glaucoma, the optic nerve is damaged by excessive intraocular pressure. Unfortunately, since the optic nerve cannot be simply replaced, as is the case with an eye lens, this eye disease cannot be remedied by a simple operation. However, treatment is necessary in any case, as otherwise there is a risk of blindness.

As a rule, eye drops are used in the treatment, which reduces the production of aqueous humor. If these medication is not tolerated, there are alternative outpatient surgical options that ensure that the aqueous humor can flow better in order to lower the intraocular pressure.

CAN YOU PREVENT CATARACT AND GLAUCOMA?

In order to be able to recognise a glaucoma or cataract early, people over 40 should have been examined by an ophthalmologist  every two years and over 65 every year if possible. However, if there are no acute symptoms, this examination is not covered by a health insurance and belongs to the so-called IGeL services, the individual health services that patients have to pay for themselves. There is no special eye training program or similar to prevent cataract or glaucoma.

What stands for glaucoma?

To diagnose glaucoma, the ophthalmologist carries out a so-called glaucoma check, in which the intraocular pressure is measured, the optic nerve is examined and, if necessary, the visual field is checked.

Green star – you can do this yourself to improve the course:

  • Exercise to normalise circulation and blood pressure
  • Reach and maintain ideal weight or at least normal weight
  • Refrain from excessive or too regular alcohol consumption
  • Do not smoke

What stands for cataract?

In order to diagnose cataract, the ophthalmologist determines the current eyesight and checks whether the lens is cloudy, which is affecting the optical center. The retina and cornea are also examined with a slit lamp examination.

Cataract check up – you can do this by yourself to avoid early vision deterioration:

  • Visit an ophthalmologist as soon as the lens becomes cloudy
  • Wear sunglasses with high UV protection in direct sunlight
  • Do not smoke

About EuroEyes

The EuroEyes Clinic Group is a globally successful company that was founded over 25 years ago in Hamburg and has its headquarters there to this day. In addition to locations throughout Germany, EuroEyes is also represented in China and Denmark. The clinic offers patients the entire spectrum of refractive surgery for the correction of ametropia. With the most modern eye laser and lens surgery procedures EuroEyes treats over 25,000 patients with myopia or farsightedness , astigmatism , presbyopia or cataracts every year . The interventions enable the start of a life free of glasses and contact lenses without impairment of vision and quality of vision.

Are you also interested in a treatment at EuroEyes or would you like to find out more about us? Then please contact our service center or fill out our contact form. We look forward to you!

Contact form (click here)

+49 40 348 09 29 0 – service center in Germany (English, German and Chinese)

Monday to Friday: 08:00 – 19:00

Saturday: 09:00 – 14:00

Sources:
Federal Association for Outpatient Surgery e. V .: https://www.operieren.de/e3224/e10/e589/e594/e621/
Week of Seeing – Blindness. Understand. Prevention: https://www.woche-des-sehens.de/infothek/das-auge/haeufige-fehlsichtigungen
Professional Association of Ophthalmologists in Germany. V .:
https://augeninfo.de/cms/nc/hauptmenu/presse/statistiken/statistik-glaukom.html
https://augeninfo.de/cms/nc/hauptmenu/presse/statistiken/statsitik-katerakt.html
VISTA Eye practices & clinics:
https://www.mynewsdesk.com/ch/vista-gruppe/blog_posts/grauer-und-gruener-star-was-ist-der-unterschied-92378
Gesundheit.de:
https://www.gesundheit .de/know/would-you-have-known/diseases/common-diseases/gray-green-star

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