A study conducted last year concluded that the number of hospitalized patients who have some kind of eye trauma has risen by at least 18% over just the last 13 years alone, and most of the patients responsible for this increase are seniors over 65 who have suffered some type of fall. That’s why, if you’re a senior suffering from macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, or any other condition that could impair your vision, you must protect yourself. Fall-related injuries are often preventable just by taking a few more precautions in your day-to-day life. In fact, we’ve listed a few of our favorites below! The following recommendations come from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and can help reduce your risk of falling as well as keep you from becoming a victim of a more serious preventable eye injury.
Communicate Your Concerns
Whether you’re just getting older and your body is getting weaker, you think your new medication is subjecting you to unwanted side effects, or if you don’t feel like yourself, the best thing you can do is communicate your concerns with your primary care physician. If you often feel weak, unbalanced, sleepy, dizzy, or are otherwise uneasy, don’t wait until you suffer a fall and hurt yourself even more to get the help you need.
Increase Your Activity
As you get older and your muscles, joints, and bones, start to give way, you might feel like you have to rest more and more to ensure you don’t hurt yourself – which for some people may be the right way to go. However, for most people, getting out and moving around regularly can help improve strength and balance, and reduce risk of injury. Specific activities, like tai chi, yoga, or even water aerobics are gentle, age appropriate activities that can be used to stay fit even when your body is at its most fragile. Just remember to speak with your doctor about your health and limitations before making any drastic changes with your physical lifestyle to ensure a smooth, painless transition.
De-clutter Your Life
The more stuff you have lying around, the more likely you are to trip and fall on something. That’s why, simply taking the time to make sure your surface areas are clear and clutter free is so important.
Throw Away The Throw Rugs
If you absolutely have to keep your throw rugs, you should always have double-sided tape or something underneath to keep grip on the edges of the rug to keep you from getting tripped up. Otherwise, the best thing you can do is just get rid of them. If left unsecure, they move around easily and get bunched up anyway, creating folds and ridges for you to trip on, so why even take the risk?
Get A Grip
Grab bars can easily be installed in your bathroom near the tub, shower, toilet, or other areas where water can create a slick surface and increase one’s risk of falling. If you don’t have some up already, get some as soon as possible and use them. They can be a lifesaver for anyone, and are very effective in preventing falls.
Other, Non-Slip Solutions
Two of the biggest reasons a person may suffer a fall are if they trip over something, or slip on a slippery surface. Keeping your home clean and clutter free can be a great way to avoid tripping, but when it comes to slip and falls, there really is no perfect remedy. In rooms like your kitchen and bathroom, moisture from sinks and showers can sit right on top of tile floors and create an invisible trap, and there’s nothing you can really do about it. However, getting non-slip mats and other coverings that attach securely to the floor can go a long way in ensuring your safety.
Keep It Lit
If your eyesight is already compromised, the worst thing you can do is try to move around in the dark. To avoid bumping into anything or tripping over your own furniture, always keep your home lit up brightly when you need to move around.
For more information on enhancing or maximizing your ocular health to prevent falls or further eye injuries, we encourage you to get in touch with our outstanding optical specialists at Alpine Eye Care by calling us directly at 1.877.733.2020 today.