As you get older you are more likely to fall. Poor eyesight has been linked to falling over.
It is normal for our eyes to change as we get older, normal changes include losing the ability to focus on things that are close-up (presbyopia), finding that it takes longer to adapt to changing lighting conditions and finding that we need more light to see things clearly.
Eye disease becomes more common as we age. The most common eye diseases in older people are cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.
A cataract is where the lens in your eye becomes cloudy. If you develop cataracts, you will normally get them in both eyes, although one may be worse than the other. Cataracts may simply mean that your glasses need changing more often, or that you find bright lights such as sunlight more dazzling than you used to. If the cataracts become bad enough to affect your day to day activities, you can have them removed during a routine operation.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects your central vision and your ability to see detail. This can make it difficult to read and to recognise faces but peripheral vision remains unaffected. There are two types of AMD. The dry type of AMD cannot be treated, but tends to progress slowly. The wet type of AMD can be treated if caught early and may progress very fast. Symptoms of AMD include seeing a blurry or distorted patch in the centre of your vision. If you notice this you should contact your optometrist straight away.
Glaucoma is when the pressure inside your eye causes damage to the nerve at the back of the eye. It is painless and causes no symptoms in the early stages, so it is important that you have regular eye examinations to make sure it is detected early. You are more at risk of glaucoma if you are aged over 40, very short sighted or closely related to someone with glaucoma. If left untreated, glaucoma caus blindness.
For more information on any of these conditions, talk to your optometrist or visit www.lookafteryoureyes.org
There are several reasons why people fall over and not all are related to poor eyesight. You are most at risk of falling if you: