Elderly Multifocal Eyeglass Wearers Have High Risk of Falls


EyeglassPresbyopia is a condition that give people difficulty focusing on near objects as they grow older. To address this, the elderly normally use multifocal glasses to help them see things near and far. While these glasses help improve their lifestyle, recent studies suggest that multifocal glasses may cause accidents as well.

How Multifocal Eyeglasses Cause Accidents

Multifocal glasses enable wearers to see objects at any distance. However, the lower part of the visual field is focused on ‘reading’ distances of up to 50 centimetres. This hinders the wearers’ ability to see a few steps in front of them.

Australian researchers noted that multifocal glasses affect distant depth perception and contrast sensitivity. People will have a hard time placing their feet when they go up or walk into an obstacle course. That’s why older people with eyeglasses suffer injuries from trips and falls often.

The Right Lenses Reduce Risk of Falls

Eye specialists from For Eyes Only agree that using the right lenses will help prevent accidents among the elderly. They suggest the use of lenses with anti-reflection coating to improve the quality of vision.

Using single lens glasses may help reduce the likelihood of accidents for the elderly as well. Researchers found that single lens glasses may prevent falls for old people. To prove this, they asked half of 606 elderly people to use single lens distance glasses and told the other half to keep wearing multifocal glasses. They also asked the participants to note the instances of their falls.

Results showed that those who wore single lens glasses had 8% fewer falls than those who wore multifocal glasses. In addition, single lens distance glasses wearers who went outdoors two or three times a week had 40% fewer chances of falls than those who spent more time inside.

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While switching single lens glasses to see various distances may be inconvenient, researchers noted that these are still safer alternatives for the elderly.

Seniors are most vulnerable to accidents because of their deteriorating vision and frail bodies. They shouldn’t keep using tools that would put their safety at risk. With the right lenses, they won’t have to become the next victims of trips and falls.