Elderly to have regular eye checks21st June 2011
The College of Optometrists and Age UK have said older people should be given encouragement to have regularly scheduled eye tests to prevent falls.
They said too few elderly people take advantage of the free check-ups offered to people over the age of 60.
The results of a poll of 1,700 older people by Age UK suggested that one in seven people aged over 60 years old (more than two million people in the UK) had not had an eye test in two years.
Estimates show that almost four million older people will have suffered a fall over the past two years and one in 14 falls were associated with eyesight problems.
Falls are the most common cause of death in older people.
Helena Herlots, of Age UK, said: "It's worrying that such a high number of older people have not had a sight test recently."
"Going for regular sight tests and wearing the right glasses will not only improve balance, co-ordination and mobility, but will help to maintain general eye health."
Dr Anna Kwartz, of the College of Optometrists, said: "Many of the visual problems that affect older people and lead to falls can be treated. "Regular sight tests can help aid early detection and treatment."
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