Protecting Your Vision & Preventing Falls - SightMD Skip to main content

April 08, 2024

By: Richard Nattis, MD

Protecting Your Vision & Preventing Falls

Understanding the Relation of Eye Conditions and Increased Risk of Falls

As we age, our risk of developing eye conditions such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and glaucoma increases. While these conditions are known for their impact on vision, they also pose additional risks to overall health, including an increased risk of falls and fractures. At SightMD, we believe in the importance of raising awareness about these risks and taking proactive steps to protect both eye health and overall well-being. Let’s delve into how cataracts, AMD, and glaucoma can contribute to falls and fractures, and what you can do to reduce your risk.


Cataracts are a common age-related condition characterized by clouding of the eye’s natural lens, leading to blurry vision and glare sensitivity. As cataracts progress, they can significantly impair visual acuity, depth perception, and contrast sensitivity, increasing the risk of falls and accidents. Individuals with cataracts may have difficulty navigating uneven surfaces, judging distances, and identifying obstacles in their path. Additionally, cataracts can cause reduced night vision, further complicating mobility and increasing the likelihood of falls, especially in dimly lit environments.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is a progressive eye disease that affects the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. In advanced stages of AMD, individuals may experience central vision loss or distortion, making it challenging to see objects clearly and navigate their surroundings safely. As a result, individuals with AMD may be at an increased risk of tripping over obstacles, misjudging steps, or losing their balance, leading to falls and fractures. Furthermore, AMD can compromise depth perception and contrast sensitivity, further contributing to the risk of accidents and injuries.


Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases characterized by damage to the optic nerve, often associated with elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). While glaucoma primarily affects peripheral vision in its early stages, advanced glaucoma can lead to significant visual field loss, affecting mobility and spatial awareness. Individuals with glaucoma may have difficulty detecting objects in their peripheral vision, increasing the risk of bumping into obstacles or losing balance. Furthermore, glaucoma medications, such as eye drops, can cause blurred vision or pupil dilation, further impairing visual function and increasing the risk of falls.

Preventive Measures to avoid Injuries

While the risk of falls and fractures in individuals with cataracts, AMD, or glaucoma is concerning, there are several preventive measures that can help reduce these risks:

  1. Regular Eye Exams: Schedule comprehensive eye exams with an ophthalmologist to monitor for eye conditions and vision changes, and ensure timely treatment if needed.
  2. Home Safety Modifications: Make your living environment safer by removing clutter, securing rugs, improving lighting, and installing handrails and grab bars in key areas.
  3. Medication Management: Be aware of potential side effects of medications used to treat eye conditions, such as blurred vision or dizziness, and take precautions as needed.
  4. Vision Aids: Use appropriate vision aids such as glasses, magnifiers, or low-vision devices to enhance visual function and improve safety during daily activities.
  5. Physical Activity: Engage in regular physical activity to improve strength, balance, and flexibility, reducing the risk of falls and maintaining overall health and well-being.

Trust SightMD with your Eye Care needs

Understanding the increased risk of falls and fractures associated with cataracts, AMD, and glaucoma is essential for promoting safety and well-being in individuals with these eye conditions. By taking proactive steps to manage vision changes, implement safety measures, and maintain overall health, individuals can reduce their risk of accidents and injuries, leading to a healthier and more active lifestyle. At SightMD, our team is dedicated to providing comprehensive eye care and support to help individuals with cataracts, AMD, glaucoma, and other eye conditions live safely and independently. For more information on this topic as well as information about studies performed on it please check out this investigation study