NIH Releases New Recommendations for Preventing Vision-Related Falls
July 13, 2016 12:27 PM
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently posted new information on their website, NIHSeniorHealth.gov, regarding how to prevent vision-related falls. NIH stated that a number of vision problems can contribute to the risk of falls including lack of depth perception or visual sharpness; not being able to see contrasting objects; taking a while for eyes to adjust when moving from darkness to light; wearing multi-focal glasses while walking or going up stairs; poor lighting in the home; cataracts; and glaucoma.
While seniors with vision problems face higher risk of falls than those without vision problems, NIH said there are steps seniors can take to reduce the risk. NIH provided the following recommendations for preventing vision-related falls:
Have Your Vision Checked
Have your vision checked regularly or if you think it has changed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. This person can provide visual devices if you need them and teach you how to use them. He or she can also offer helpful suggestions about the best lighting for you and about not wearing your multi-focals when you walk or use the stairs.
If you are age 60 or older, you should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. If you are at increased risk for or have any age-related eye disease, you may need to see your eye care professional more often. Learn more about comprehensive dilated eye exams.
Wear Your Eyeglasses Correctly
Wear your eyeglasses so you can see your surroundings clearly. Keep them clean and check to see that the frames are straight. When you get new glasses, be extra cautious while you are getting used to them.
Have Sufficient Lighting in Your Home
In your home, make sure you have
enough lighting in each room, at entrances, and on outdoor walkways
light bulbs with the highest wattage recommended for the fixture
good lighting on stairways, including light switches at both the top and bottom of stairs
a lamp within easy reach of your bed
night lights in the bathroom, hallways, bedroom, and kitchen
a flashlight by your bed in case the power is out and you need to get up.
To view the NIH recommendations and other information related to fall prevention, click here.