Vision and falls: the Optometrists role

Black, Alex & Wood, Joanne M. (2005) Vision and falls: the Optometrists role. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 88(4), pp. 212-222.

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Falls occur in about one third of older people living independently in the community every year. This can lead to significant physical, psychological and financial costs to the individual and the community. While the risk factors for falls in older people are multifactorial, poor vision is considered to be an important contributing factor. The aim of this review is to evaluate current research linking impaired visual function with falls and to review current intervention strategies for the prevention of falls in older individuals.

The evidence from the current literature indicates that impairment of visual functions, such as visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, visual fields and depth perception, is associated with an increased risk of falls. Recent studies have also demonstrated that falls can be reduced following cataract surgery as a visual intervention.

Optometrists need to be aware of these associations and through appropriate treatment, referral and/or education, they can play a major role in optimising visual function in older people, as part of a multidisciplinary approach to falls prevention.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 12013
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The contents of this journal from 1998 to 2005 can be freely accessed online via the journal's web page (see hypertext link).
Keywords: elderly, falls, fractures, visual function
DOI: 10.1111/j.1444-0938.2005.tb06699.x
ISSN: 0816-4622
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300) > Vision Science (111303)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Optometrists Association Australia
Deposited On: 16 Jan 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:15

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