Cataract: basics and causes

What exactly is a cataract? How dangerous is this eye disease? More in this chapter.

What is the cataract?

The cataract is a collective name for eye diseases in which there is a clouding of the lens. Medically the cataract is called cataract. Left untreated, it can lead to blindness.

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How often does the cataract occur?

According to the Professional Association of Ophthalmologists, half of the German population between the ages of 52 and 64 develops clouding of the eye lens. However, not all people with such a "cataract" notice visual disturbances.

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At what age does the cataract occur?

A cataract or cataract is any form of lens opacity. This can come for a variety of reasons and in principle at any age. Often the causes remain unknown.

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What causes a cataract?

The most common cause is simply a higher age. Because with increasing age, the metabolic activity of the eye lens decreases slightly. And that can eventually lead to lens opacity, so the cataract.

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Is the cataract caused by eyestrain?

No. Strain of the eyes affects the muscles and nerves in this area, which can lead to headaches, among other things. But not the eye lens, which is usually clear and thickening and clouding in the cataract.

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Is the cataract an occupational disease?

A cataract caused by thermal radiation is explicitly recognized as occupational disease (BK No. 2401: "Cataracts due to heat radiation"). This special form of cataract is also known as heat star, infrared star, Feuerstar or Glasbläserstar.

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What is a heat star?

The heat star is a special form of cataract. The lens opacification does not go back to an age-related limited metabolism, which is the normal case, but to a harmful heat radiation.

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