Age-related ocular vascular changes

Rita Ehrlich, Nisha S. Kheradiya, Diana M. Winston, Daniel B. Moore, Barbara Wirostko, Alon Harris*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The global society is aging at an increasing rate, with a continually larger proportion of the population consisting of those over the age of 65. Age-related vascular changes have been demonstrated in ocular tissue, and the incidence and prevalence of diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and vascular occlusive diseases increase significantly with age. Methods: This article reviews the current body of literature examining age-associated ocular vascular changes, and summarizes the aggregate findings. We discuss the potential role of the aging vasculature in the etiology of age-associated ocular disease, focusing on glaucoma. Results: Our working hypothesis is that although advancing age is a physiological phenomenon, there are stepwise hemodynamic and vascular changes that occur, predisposing the eye and other tissue beds to pathological conditions. Advancing age does not independently give rise to disease, but does generate increasingly vulnerable vascular beds that are susceptible to further insults. Conclusions: These results compel a need for further investigation of age-related changes in ocular physiology and pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-591
Number of pages9
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Volume247
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Funding

FundersFunder number
Research to Prevent Blindness

    Keywords

    • Aging
    • Endothelial dysfunction
    • Eye
    • Glaucoma
    • Vasculature

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