A study has found that between 40% and 50% of older adults with eye disease limit their activity due to a fear of falling. The researchers warn that this may put these individuals at risk for social isolation and disability.
Led by Ellen Freeman, from the University of Montreal in Québec, Canada, the research team recruited 93 patients with AMD, 57 with Fuchs corneal dystrophy, 98 with glaucoma and 97 with normal visual acuity and visual field to examine whether patients with eye disease report limiting their activity due to a fear of falling as compared with a control group of older adults with good vision.
Overall, 40% to 50% of patient with eye disease reported activity limitation due to a fear of falling compared with only 16% of controls.
The Fuchs group was most likely to report activity limitation due to fear of falling, followed by the glaucoma group and the AMD group.
“Although this compensatory strategy may protect against falls, it may also put people at risk for social isolation and disability,” write the authors in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science.