New research reported in Optometry & Vision Science has shed light on the possibility that falling may be partially blamed on a common condition in older adults called anisometropia. Anisometropia is a condition in which a person’s eyes have unequal refractive power, meaning different levels of myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness).
After assessing refractive error over a period of 12 years in 118 subjects, the researchers found that amisometropia is at least 10 times more common in the elderly than in children. Eye care specialists are already aware of the consequences of binocular differences caused by macular degeneration, and now this offers another ingredient to the mix. “Clinicians,” say the authors of the study, “need to be aware of this common condition that could …potentially cause falls in the elderly”.
Source: Longitudinal Increase in Anisometropia in Older Adults
Haegerstrom-Portnoy, Gunilla; Schneck, Marilyn E.; Lott, Lori A.
(Optometry & Vision Science., Published Ahead-of-Print 22 November 2013)