Anyone regardless of age can experience an eye injury, but as we age, we are more susceptible to injuries for various reasons. There are several things we can do to safeguard ourselves and our loved ones.
Why Do Older People Get Injured More Often?
Falling is one of the most common ways for an older adult to get an eye injury. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, data shows that people over the age of 60 have a higher rate of emergency room visits attributable to falls. Falls may be more common in older people due to the following factors:
Cognitive decline: When we get older, some people’s cognitive abilities deteriorate. Our brain goes through an unconscious mechanism to keep us balanced, but the process can become less effective as we age, resulting in falls.
Vision problems: As people age, their vision can deteriorate, leaving them with poor depth perception and glare issues. This can lead to a fall due to a misjudgment of distance or step height.
Common Injuries That Elderly People Get
The same types of accidents can happen to older people as they do to younger people. The following are examples of injuries:
● Soft tissue injury, a black eye for example
● Fracture of the orbital bone
● Rupture of the globe
● Eyelids that have been torn or hurt
● Corneal scratches
Eye Injury Prevention
Eye accidents are often avoidable. You should take precautions to protect yourself or a loved one. Consider the following ideas.
Keep an eye out for tripping hazards both inside and out: For example, look for tripping hazards such as loose rugs or electrical cords. Ensure that all railings are in good working order. Inside, look for slanted walkways.
Maintain daily eye exams: As we age, eye disorders such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts become more common. However, some eye diseases have no symptoms at all, leaving them undiagnosed. Daily eye exams can increase the likelihood of an early diagnosis of an eye disease, which can protect your vision.
Installing grab bars in the bathroom is a good idea: As we get older, falls when getting in and out of the bathtub become more normal. A grab bar will help to reduce the risk. Non-slip mats should also be used in the bathtub and outside the bathroom.
Light stairs and hallways: Dark hallways and stairs will increase the risk of tripping and causing an eye injury. Make sure certain areas are well-lit and available.
Wear protective eyewear as needed: Falls are not the only source of eye injuries in seniors. When doing yard work, painting, or using chemicals in the house, make sure to wear protective goggles.