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Vision & Hearing

Good eyesight is important for mobility, balance and negotiating obstacles within the environment. Poor hearing can affect orientation to the environment around us, increasing our risk of falls.

Vision 

Good eyesight is important for mobility, balance and negotiating obstacles within the environment.

You may not notice that your vision is changing but, as we age, we become less able to adapt to changes in light and darkness, to tell colours apart and to accurately see depth and distance. This can cause problems with bifocals / varifocals, even if they have been worn for years. If you do wear this kind of lens, take care on steps, stairs and patterned or uneven surfaces.

The older we get, the more common eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration become but, with 70% of visual problems being correctable, it is extremely important to ensure that you have regular eye tests. Remember that eye tests are free if you are 60 or over and many opticians can visit you at home if you are unable to go out and about.

When your eyes are shut e.g. when washing your face or standing under the shower, and when there is not enough light to see properly e.g. going to toilet at night in the dark, your balance is compromised, so holding on for support at these times or turning a light on can reduce your risk of falls.

Further information can be found here:

NHS eye health advice

Age UK eye health advice

Find an optician

Royal National Institute of Blind People

 

Hearing

Poor hearing can affect our orientation to the environment around us, increasing our risk of falls.

What I can do:

  • Make sure you get your hearing tested if it deteriorates
  • If you have hearing aids, make sure you wear them and they are in good working order. If you have NHS hearing aids, contact your local audiology department about their drop in maintenance sessions.
  • Ensure devices such as doorbells and telephones are loud enough to hear

Poor hearing may be due to a wax blockage inside the ear.  This can be resolved by using olive oil ear drops, available from chemists.

Assistive technology are pieces of equipment or software that are used to increase, maintain, or improve an individual’s ability to perform daily tasks or to communicate, learn and live independent, fulfilling and productive lives. It can aid you living at home independently when you have sensory, physical or cognitive difficulties.  Services are available through the council or many items can be purchased independently.