A recent study published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science found that up to 50% of older adults with poor vision limit their normal activities due to fear of falling. This fear of falling may lead older adults into social isolation and further functional disability.
The paper examined older adults who had macular degeneration, glaucoma, or Fuchs corneal dystrophy and compared them to normal-vision aged matched controls. The researchers found that those with poor vision due to these degenerative eye conditions were more likely to decrease activity due to fear of falling.
The researchers found that those with a fear of falling tended to be female, have poorer vision, suffer from depression, and have other comorbidities.
Falling is a major cause of disability among older adults, and a history of falling typically leads to decreased functional mobility due to fear of falling.
This study sheds light on the fact that those people with vision problems due to age-related degeneration limit their activities due to fear of falling.
If you have vision problems and suffer from decreased mobility due to fear of falling, perhaps you should talk to your doctor to see if a physical therapy program is right for you. Your physical therapist can work with you to maximize your functional mobility and to ensure that you are safe when moving about.