Fear of falling may isolate older, vision-impaired adults

vision-impaired adultsA recent study showed that almost half of older adults who are vision-impaired limit their activities due to a fear of falling.

Published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, the study found that 40 to 50 percent of seniors who have eye diseases, which diminish their vision try to protect themselves by limiting movement and social interaction. Of those with normal vision, only 16 percent reported activity limitation.

This defensive strategy is worrisome because it can cause social isolation and disability. A separate study indicated that a higher level of perceived risk of falls, tends to lead to future falls.

Most likely to limit activity are those who are older, female, have worse vision, are depressed or who are suffering from multiple diseases. Those with corneal dystrophy are also more likely to employ this tactic.

If you or someone you know is missing out on life due to impaired vision, make an appointment to see your physician today. Whether you’re suffering from cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration, your doctor can provide you with treatment options that may be able to improve your quality of life.

No matter what your age, your sight matters.