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Vision and Falls

Age-related vision diseases can increase the risk of falling. Cataracts and glaucoma alter older people's depth perception, visual acuity, peripheral vision and susceptibility to glare. These limitations hinder their ability to safely negotiate their environment, whether it be in their own home or in a shopping mall. Young people use visual cues to perceive an imminent fall and take corrective action. Older adults with visual impairments do not have this advantage to the same extent.

Prevention Tips
  • Have regular checkups by an ophthalmologist to discern the extent of age-related eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma.
  • Use color and contrast to define balance-aiding objects in the home (e.g., grab bars and handrails).
  • Add contrasting color strips to first and last steps to identify change of level.
  • Clean eye glasses often to improve visibility.