Aging as Risk Factor in Eye Disease

  • Luciano Cerulli
Part of the Aging Medicine book series (AGME)


The major causes of blindness and reduced vision are related to cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy—all of which recognize aging as the major risk factor. The burden of visual impairment is not distributed uniformly through the world. The least developed regions carry the largest share. Visual impairment is also unequally distributed across age groups, with incidence largely confined to adults 50 years of age and older (83%). A distribution imbalance is also found with regard to the gender throughout the world—females have a significantly higher risk of developing visual impairment than males because their life expectancy is higher and their economic possibilities may be less. Notwithstanding the progress in surgical intervention that has been made in many countries over the last several decades, cataracts remains the leading cause of visual impairment in all regions of the world, except in the most developed countries.


Cataract Glaucoma ARM D Corneal opacity Diabetic retinopathy 


  1. 1.
    Resnikoff S and Co. Policy and Practice “Global data on visual impairment in the year 2002“Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Frick K, et al. (2003) The magnitude and cost of global blindness: An increasing problem that can be alleviated. Am. J. Ophth. April 471–476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Quigley HA (1996) Number of people with glaucoma worldwide Br. J. Ophthalmol. May 80(5):389–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Quigley HA, Vitale S (1997) Models of open-angle glaucoma prevalence and incidence in the United States. Invest. Ophthalmol Vis Sci Jan 38:83–91Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Friedman DS et al. (2006) The prevalence of open angle glaucoma among blacks and whites 73 years old: the Salisbury Eye Evaluation Glaucoma Study. Arch. Ophthalmol. 124:1625–30PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sommer A et al. (1991) A population-based evaluation of glaucoma screening: the Baltimore Eye Survey. Am. J. of Epidemiol. 134:1102–1110Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Traverso CE et al. (2005) Direct costs of glaucoma and severity of the disease. Br. J. Ophthalmol 89:1245–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Recommended Bibliographic Resources Recent Books on Vision Disorders in Old Age (

  1. 1.
    The Aging Eye by Sandra Gordon, Harvard Medical School, 2001.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Communication Technologies for the Elderly: Vision, Hearing & Speech by Rosemary Lubinski, D. Jeffery Higginbotham, 1997.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The effects of aging and environment on vision by Donald A. Armstrong, et al., 1991.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Treating vision problems in the older adult (Mosby's optometric problem-solving series) by Gerald G. Melore, 2001.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Vision and Aging by Alfred A. Rosenbloom, Meredith W. Morgan, 1993.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Age-Related Macular Degeneration by Jennifer I. Lim, 2002.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    The Impact of Vision Loss in the Elderly (Garland Studies on the Elderly in America) by Julia J. Kleinschmidt, 1995.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Vision in Alzheimer's Disease (Interdisciplinary Topics in Gerontology) by Alice Croningolomb, et al., 2004.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    The Senescence of Human Vision (Oxford Medical Publications) by R.A. Weale, 2001.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Issues in Aging and Vision: A Curriculum for University programs and In-service Training by Alberta L. Orr, 1998.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Aging with developmental disabilities changes in vision by Marshall E. Flax, 1996.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Trends in vision and hearing among older Americans by U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, 2000.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Optometric gerontology: A resource manual by Sherrell J. Aston, 2003.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luciano Cerulli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyUniversity of Rome, Tor VergataRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations