An epidemiological ophthalmic investigation of 1000 individuals aged 60-80 years disclosed age-related macular degeneration (AMD), i.e. macular changes causing visual impairment in at least one eye with a prevalence of 12.2% of 924 individuals with both maculae examined. The prevalence increased with rising age for both sexes: age group 60-64 years: 2.3%, 65-69: 5.9%, 70-74: 12.1% and 75-80: 27.3%. No significant differences in prevalence rates of AMD were demonstrated between males and females in the respective age groups. About one half of the persons with AMD were affected in both eyes. No differences of AMD were found between right and left eyes. Findings of age related macular changes without visual impairment (AMCW) compared to AMD revealed far higher prevalences in the sixties and a smaller rise in the seventies (age group percentage in both sexes: 12.3, 18.0, 17.0 and 17.8%). No systematic prevalence differences were demonstrated between sexes. The collected data of AMD and AMCW might indicate a shift from AMCW to AMD in women, particularly aged 70-74 years and in men, particularly aged 75-80 years. Macular changes in total (AMD + AMCW) was found in 28.5% of the population (age group percentage 14.6, 23.8, 29.0 and 45.0%). No sex differences were found.