Is Low Vision Causing Trips and Falls?

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One cause of slips and spills is foot pain. This will result in patients altering the way they walk and increase the risk of losing their balance or falling. At Paul Klein, DPM, FACFAS, however, when a patient comes to us with a recent history of falls and a complete examination of the feet reveals no foot problems, it’s time to look at other possibilities. February is Low Vision Awareness Month and poor eyesight is another major cause of stumbles.

Warning Signs

The risk of low vision increases with age. Currently, 3 million Americans age 40 and older have low vision. Low vision is defined as loss of vision that cannot be corrected by eyeglasses or contacts, medication or surgery. At first, a person with low vision may have difficulty completing close up tasks like hand sewing and small repairs around the house. Familiar faces may be hard to recognize and choosing clothing that matches and are color coordinated becomes difficult. Simple daily tasks like reading and cooking become difficult. These challenges can lead to depression, anxiety and a feeling of helplessness.

Risk Factors

Your risk for low vision is higher if you are:

  • Over the age of 65
  • African American, Hispanic or Latino and have diabetic eye disease or glaucoma
  • Caucasian with macular degeneration

Other causes of low vision are injury and birth defects.

Our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein, knows that many diseases manifest symptoms in the feet. The foot doctor is always on the lookout for signs of diabetes, arthritis and other systemic disorders such as low vision. If the podiatrist believes your vision may be impacting the health of your feet and the rest of your body he will refer you to the appropriate specialist for further evaluation.

Although low vision is not reversible, there are tools and support available to help patients continue to enjoy a full and active life. Magnifying devices, modifications to the home and workspace, mobility specialists and counselors can all provide aid. Even if you think your vision is fine, an increase in the number of trips and falls is something that should be brought to the attention of the podiatrist so that the cause can be determined and proper treatment prescribed. Contact our Wayne, New Jersey office today for an appointment at: 973-595-1555.