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Common age-related eye diseases and visual impairment 

Common age-related eye diseases and visual impairment
Common age-related eye diseases and visual impairment

Jacqueline Chua

, Ching-Yu Cheng

, and Tien Yin Wong



Myopia has emerged as a major health issue worldwide. Therefore, a brief write-up has been included within the uncorrected refractive error section.

Longitudinal epidemiological studies are now available to provide incidence rates for diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Briefly, incidence rates provide the rate of occurrence of new cases, whereas prevalence rates refer to the proportion of cases in the population at a given time. Therefore, incidence conveys information about the risk of contracting the disease, whereas prevalence indicates how widespread the disease is.

Updated on 27 August 2020. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 18 May 2022

General physicians have an essential role in preventing vision loss in older people. However, most vision-threatening eye disorders are initially asymptomatic and often go underdiagnosed. Therefore, screening, early detection, and timely intervention are important in their management. The most common cause of visual impairment is uncorrected or under-corrected refractive error, followed by cataract, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Spectacles and cataract surgery can successfully restore sight for uncorrected refractive error and cataract, respectively. Visual impairment as a result of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy can be prevented with appropriate treatment if they are identified early enough. This chapter provides an overview of common age-related eye disease and visual impairment.

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