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The Importance of Vision in Preventing Falls

In a new collaboration, The College of Optometrists and the British Geriatrics Society, is launching its document on the importance of vision in preventing falls.

Although many factors may be linked to falls it has been shown that problems with vision are amongst the more important. This publication provides optometrists and other health care professionals with a comprehensive overview of the importance of vision in preventing falls.

Every year more than three million people aged over 65 will have a fall. Falls are the leading cause of disability and the leading cause of death from injury among people over 75 in the UK. Falls also place a significant burden on society – it has been estimated that falls cost the NHS around £2.3 billion per year. The consequences of a fall can be devastating, but falls, like failing eyesight are not an inevitable consequence of ageing – and much can be done to prevent the risks.

An eye exam can help detect ocular problems before any long lasting visual deterioration may take place, as well as helping to prevent falls and improving an older person’s quality of life and peace of mind significantly. It is vital that people of 60 years and older are aware of their entitlement to a free NHS sight test and know how to access this service. We also need to raise awareness of the domiciliary service; if a patient is housebound and unable to access a community practice an NHS sight test can be provided free of charge at home.

This joint College of Optometrists/British Geriatrics Society publication has been endorsed by Age UK and the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Download the publication in pdf format here.

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