Apart from their name "Star", these two clinical pictures have nothing in common. In the cataract (cataract) comes with increasing age to a usually slowly progressing opacity of the eye lens to blindness. The glaucoma (glaucoma), however, is the collective name for a number of similar eye diseases with damage to the optic nerve and the visual field.
Diagnosis: Green Star and Cataract
The cataract is recognizable by the increasing turbidity in the pupil plane. The ophthalmologist determines the remaining visual acuity and checks whether the lens opacity affects the optical center of the lens. In the so-called slit-lamp and subsequent eye-background examination, the cornea and in particular the retina are also assessed. The green star is usually discovered during a glaucoma check (from the age of 40 every two years). The ophthalmologist measures the intraocular pressure, looks at the optic nerve head or fundus and examines the visual field.
Symptoms, signs, complaints
In the cataract, the perceived image is gradually blurred, dull and slightly veiled. Colors fade and yellow and double vision can occur in one eye. Other symptoms include: Increased glare sensitivity, especially in bright sunlight, during night driving and on wet roads, as well as frequent changes in the strength of the glasses. In contrast, the green cataract usually causes no noticeable symptoms in the case of only slightly to moderately elevated intraocular pressure values (exception: glaucoma). Only high intraocular pressure can cause colored rings or courtyards around light sources. Untreated, the visual field defects progress to blindness.
Causes and risk factors
The cataract occurs due to age. But factors such as strong exposure to light, impaired lens nutrition and general conditions such as diabetes mellitus and atopic dermatitis, years of cortisone use, intra-ocular inflammation, eye injuries, cataracts or eye surgery promote the appearance of lens opacification. Glaucoma has the following risk factors: increased intraocular pressure, age, familial genetic stress, myopia from minus five diopters, severe hyperopia, low blood pressure and cortisone. In some patients, the optic nerve is already hypersensitive to normal intraocular pressures (16 mmHg and 21 mmHg).
Cataract and cataract: therapy and course
The cataract can currently only be treated surgically. In about 95 percent of those operated on, vision is restored completely and at least partially in the remaining five percent. In the approximately 20-minute operation, the body's cloudy lens is replaced by an artificial lens (intraocular lens). As an intraocular lens, for example, monofocal lenses (enabling close vision near or far), multifocal lenses (relatively sharp vision at all distances, but somewhat reduced contrast vision), and special lenses come into question. Weeks to months, sometimes years, after a successful cataract surgery, an easily removable posterior can occur.
In the case of a green star, the intraocular pressure (partially below the normal values) must be lowered to prevent further damage to the optic nerve: In most cases, the pressure is reduced with life-long consistent eye drops that reduce the production of aqueous humor. Attention: allergies and intolerances may occur. In about three to five percent of those affected, the outflow of aqueous humor must be relieved surgically or with a laser.