Harvard Women's Health Watch

Vision loss keeps older women at home

Having trouble seeing clearly? Glaucoma and other eye diseases could keep you housebound and prevent you from staying social, according to a recent study in the journal InvestigativeOphthalmology & Visual Science. The study recruited 248 people with age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, or Fuchs corneal dystrophy (a disorder of the clear front surface of the eye) and compared them with a control group of 97 people without these eye conditions. Participants were interviewed and given vision tests. About 40% to 50% of people with eye disease limited their activities because of a fear of falling, compared with only 16% of those in the control group. Women especially were more likely to stay home because of vision loss. Although staying at home might prevent you from falling, the authors of the study said it can also lead to social isolation and greater disability. If you are struggling with vision loss, it's important to see your eye doctor. Treatment could improve your vision and get you out into the world again.

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