For adults over the age of 65, the right pair of vision correcting glasses can literally be a life saver. Seniors aged 65 and up are at increased risk of falling, which is the leading cause of injury, injury-related death, and hospitalization for this age group. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year, one in three adults over 65 falls but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it.
According to a recent study, 65% of those who wear glasses and break a hip as a result of a fall were not wearing their glasses at the time of the fall. Whether it is a pair of corrective glasses or surgery to remove a cataract, treating vision problems promptly can have a huge impact on preventing injury related to falling in seniors.
It is important to raise awareness with your loved ones about the need to have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year. This is vital as there are often no noticeable warning signs that vision problems such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration are developing. Additionally, a simple reminder to loved ones to wear their glasses as prescribed by an eye doctor will go a long way to help to maximize vision. Cataracts are a common source of falls, as the cataract reduces contrast sensitivity. If a person is in dimmer lighting while walking, one may miss a stair or curb and have a bad fall. It is important to ensure one's prescription is up to date, as well as have proper glare control if one has cataracts.
Poor vision doesn’t only increase the risk of falling; it also has an impact on the quality of daily life. If left untreated, a visual disorder can affect both social and physical activities. A person who is unable to see clearly will have difficulty participating in stimulating activities such as reading, playing cards and board games as well as day-to-day physical exercise such as walking.
Vision difficulties for seniors can often be treated once detected, but a thorough eye exam is necessary to determine the cause. With most vision diseases, earlier detection leads to increased chances of vision improvement. Raise your awareness about the relationship between vision difficulties and health problems for seniors to increase quality of life and help lower the risk of serious injury associated with avoidable falls.