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Fall Prevention: How your optometrist can help
November is Fall Prevention Month, and there’s no better time for seniors to book their annual eye exam with an optometrist, as recommended by the Ontario Association of Optometrists.
When seniors lose their ability to see – either suddenly or over time – it deeply alters their ability to stay independent. Many times, vision loss leads to declining health, disability, institutionalization, and – you guessed it – frequent falls.
By age 65, one in three Ontarians will have an eye disease that leads to changes in vision, and one in nine seniors experience irreversible vision loss.
An additional factor contributing to change in vision for seniors is the medications they are often prescribed, many of which cause dry eye which can impair vision and decrease overall quality of life. These vision problems can:
Double the difficulty of activities of daily living
Double the risk of falls
Triple the risk of depression
Quadruple the risk of hip fracture
Double social dependence
Increase medication errors
While changes in vision are a natural part of ageing, vision loss is avoidable under the regular care of an optometrist. Through a comprehensive eye exam, an optometrist will detect any eye health or vision problems before they take a toll on a senior’s day-to-day life, and manage the problem so that seniors can continue living safe, independent and active lives.
Eye health problems frequently experienced by seniors include:
Age-related macular degeneration
Each of these issues can be promptly diagnosed and treated by an optometrist before permanent effects take place. Annual eye exams for seniors are covered by OHIP starting at age 65.
Find an optometrist near you.