Older patients with moderate glaucoma avoid at-risk activities over fear of falling

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In this cross-sectional study, 138 patients between the ages of 55 and 90 years, with mild (n = 61), moderate (n = 54), and advanced (n = 23) glaucoma in the better-eye base were age-matched to 50 controls. All participants completed a questionnaire on falls, fear of falling, and avoiding activities that were at-risk for falls.

Overall, 36% of participants with glaucoma reported ≥1 fall in the year prior compared to 20% of participants in the control group. Participants with advanced glaucoma had the highest fall risk and those with mild glaucoma had a higher fall risk than those in the control group. Participants with moderate glaucoma experienced a greater risk of a high fear of falling and high avoidance of at-risk activities compared to controls.

“Reducing falls, fear of falling, and avoidance of at-risk activities may lower morbidity and mortality and improve the emotional and social well-being of glaucoma patients,” the authors concluded.

Bhorade AM, Perlmutter MS, Sabapathypillai SL, et al. Rate of falls, fear of falling, and avoidance of activities at-risk for falls in older adults with glaucoma. Am J Ophthalmol. 2021; DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2021.02.017

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