Vision and Hearing in Older Adults

Your risk for falling and other injuries goes up if you have trouble seeing or hearing clearly. 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.

Hearing and Balance

Changes in your hearing are closely linked to balance. Problems in the inner ear can cause dizziness that increases your risk of falling.

Have your provider check your hearing. You may be referred to an audiologist or prescribed a hearing aid.


As you age, your vision may change in ways that make a fall more likely. Age-related vision changes can make it harder to: 

  • Focus
  • See edges clearly 
  • See when lights are too bright
  • Sense how close or far an object is

Common eye conditions that can increase your risk of falling include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy (vision loss from diabetes complications)
  • Age-related macular degeneration (vision loss)
  • Cataracts

How to Help Your Vision As You Age

  • Visit an eye doctor once a year for a comprehensive eye exam.
  • Only wear glasses as prescribed by your doctor.
  • If you are prescribed glasses, get your new glasses as soon as possible.
  • Make sure your glasses fit properly.
  • Wear sunglasses outside.
  • Give your eyes time to adjust when going into darker or brighter areas.
  • Keep all walkways in your home well-lit.

Additional Resources

More Information