Eye Health News

Fear of falling causes limiting of activities

A recent study has shown that older patients with poor vision significantly limit their activities due to fear of falling, a cautious strategy that can lead to social isolation and morbidity. Researchers examined patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, and Fuchs corneal dystrophy, and compared them to an older group of controls with normal vision. In response to questionnaires, 40 to 50 percent of the patients with poor vision said they limited their activities due to fear of falling, compared to 16 percent of the controls. The group with Fuchs corneal dystrophy expressed the greatest activity limitation due to fear of falling, followed by those with glaucoma and AMD. Additionally, those who reported more activity limitation were older, more likely to be females, had poorer vision, and were more likely to be depressed and had greater comorbidity. Activity limitation can lead to social isolation and disability in the elderly. The researchers recommend that older individuals with eye disease stay as active as possible without endangering their safety. Additionally, rehabilitation methods should help these adults gain confidence in activities that arouse fear of falling, facilitating their pursuit of these activities and avoidance of a sedentary lifestyle.*  

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