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See and Hear Clearly

man wearing eyeglasses If you have trouble seeing or hearing clearly, you may be at risk of falling. Vision and hearing can change gradually with age so you may not notice if your vision or hearing has gotten worse. Have your hearing and eyesight checked regularly to help prevent falls.

See Clearly
  • Age-related changes in your vision may make it harder to see hazards in your path. These changes may happen slowly over time, so they may be hard to notice. Some of these changes include:
    • Trouble focusing
    • Reduced ability to see images clearly
      (for example reduced contrast sensitivity makes it hard to see changes in surfaces, such as curbs in the street)
    • Higher sensitivity to glare
    • Problems sensing depth, which can make objects that are far away appear close by

  • Common eye conditions that can increase your risk of falling include:
    • Glaucoma
    • Diabetic retinopathy
    • Age-related macular degeneration
    • Cataracts
What You Can Do:
  • Visit an eye doctor once a year for a dilated eye exam.

  • Get your new glasses as soon as possible.

  • Make sure your glasses fit properly.

  • Only wear glasses as prescribed.

  • Wear sunglasses outside.

  • Allow your eyes time to adjust when going into darker or brighter areas.

  • Keep all walkways in your home well-lit. Learn more about home safety.


Hear Clearly

Fact: Changes in your hearing are closely linked to balance. Problems in the inner ear can cause dizziness that can cause you to fall.

What You Can Do:
  • Have your provider check your hearing. You may
    be referred to an audiologist. A hearing aid may be
    right for you.


More Resources


Last Updated: February 21, 2012