Monday, May 6

Three eye illnesses are associated with an increased risk of falls.

Three eye illnesses are associated with an increased risk of falls.

In the journals

Having your eyes tested for common age-related eye problems can also help minimize your chance of falling. According to a study published online by JAMA Ophthalmology on December 28, 2023, older people with cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), or glaucoma are more likely to fall than those without these eye illnesses.

For four years, researchers tracked 575,000 people with cataracts, AMD, or glaucoma, as well as three control groups of people without these eye illnesses. During that time, 30% of those with cataracts fell, compared to 14% of controls; 37% of those with AMD fell, vs. 21% of controls; and 25% of those with glaucoma fell, compared to 13% of controls. People with eye problems were also at a higher risk of fractures, though it was unclear how many of these fractures were due to falls.

The study did not investigate why these eye problems would raise the risk of falls; it just demonstrated a relationship. Other research, however, has identified a number of variables, including issues with eyesight and balance, as possible culprits. Illness may also be a factor. According to the research, there was a higher likelihood of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis in those with eye diseases.

Photo by Dominika Roseclay
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