Bifocals may put seniors at risk for falls

Bifocals may put seniors at risk for fallsSeniors who wear bifocals are at a greater risk for falls and misstep due to blurry vision. The study showed the effects of blurry vision on stepping accuracy were higher in participants looking ahead.

Alex Black and colleagues wrote, “Our findings … support the benefits of gaze training to maintain gaze position on stepping locations when undertaking precision stepping tasks.”


For the study, 19 seniors were asked to perform precision tasks while wearing normal glasses or glasses that caused blurry vision as replicated in bifocals.
Although the risk of falls while wearing the blurry glasses was minimal, it could increase in areas where foot placement is critical – when using the stairs or walking on uneven terrain, for example.

The findings suggest that it could be wise to wear single vision glasses when walking.

Associate author Anthony Adams wrote, “Falls for the elderly can be quite serious in consequence, so adopting strategies for avoiding falls is very important. Our authors highlight the difficulty that bifocal and multifocal prescription glasses may create for the elderly, particularly if they gaze past the stepping point.”

Also, read Bel Marra Health’s article: 4 ways to improve your eye health right now.

Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.