Vision Loss and Falls Risk Factors for Aging Patients

  • Andrew G. Lee
  • Carmel B. Dyer
  • Mariam Hussain
  • T. Ashwini Kini
  • Bayan Al Othman

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Visual loss is an independent risk factor for falls, which are one of the leading causes of injury related death and disability in the elderly. Falls can lead to fractures, and only half of patients treated for a hip fracture were able to return to independent living. As the largest generation of the population ages across the globe, fall prevention is more critical than ever. Vision, contrast sensitivity, and stereopsis are key factors for posture control under challenging conditions and therefore risk prevention. Multifocal glasses wearers, for example, have impaired edge-contrast sensitivity and depth perception and the use of these glasses substantially increases the risk of a fall. Since many physicians are not trained to consider these unique needs In patients, coverage on this topic is essential across the board.


This video covers fall prevention as a risk to aging patients, the role that vision care plays in minimizing these risks, and tips to improve patient safety for geriatricians, primary care providers, social workers and all others.

About the Author

Andrew G. Lee

Andrew G. Lee, M.D. is a graduate of the University of Virginia undergraduate school and the School of Medicine. He completed his ophthalmology residency and was the chief resident at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas in 1993. Following residency, Dr. Lee completed a fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology with Neil R. Miller MD at the Wilmer Eye Institute and was a post-doctoral Fight for Sight fellow at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland from 1993-1994. He was formerly an Associate Professor at Baylor College of Medicine and Adjunct Associate Professor at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston from 1994-2000. He has published over 240 peer reviewed articles, 40 book chapters, and two full textbooks in ophthalmology. Dr. Lee serves on the Editorial Board of 12 journals including the American Journal of Ophthalmology, the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology, and Eye. He has received the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Honor Award, the AAO Secretariat Award, and the AAO Senior Achievement Award.

Carmel B. Dyer

Carmel B. Dyer, MD, AGSF, FACP Ranked one of the nation’s top geriatricians, Carmel Bitondo Dyer, MD, has served as a clinician, researcher, educator, and administrator for more than 25 years. As executive director of the Consortium on Aging at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and executive vice chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, Dyer promotes a circle of care concept to deliver comprehensive, age-appropriate care to older adults. Her areas of expertise include preventing elder abuse, developing innovative models of health care, and building interprofessional teams that work together on behalf of vulnerable patients. In addition to her executive leadership roles, Dyer is the Roy M. and Phyllis Gough Huffington Chair in Gerontology, Vincent F. and Nancy P. Guinee Distinguished Chair, and Professor in the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine at UTHealth. She cares for patients at UT Physicians Center for Healthy Aging-Bellaire.

Mariam Hussain

Mariam Hussain Texas A&M College of Medicine

T. Ashwini Kini

T. Ashwini Kini, MD Neuro-ophthalmology fellow 2018-2019, Houston Methodist

Bayan Al Othman

Bayan Al Othman, MD Neuro-ophthalmology fellow 2018-2019, Houston Methodist


About this video

Andrew G. Lee
Carmel B. Dyer
Mariam Hussain
T. Ashwini Kini
Bayan Al Othman
Online ISBN
Total duration
12 min
Springer, Cham
Copyright information
© Producer 2019

Video Transcript


Hi, I’m Mariam Hussain. I’m a third-year medical student at Texas A&M College of Medicine, and we’re going be talking about visual loss and falls.

This is particularly important to ophthalmologists because ophthalmologists are in a unique position to be able to identify patients that have vision loss. We’re on the front lines. And increased vision loss leads to increased risk of falls in the elderly, and elderly patients that fall have a greatly decreased quality of life, increased risk of mortality as well. So, for the overall care of the patient, it’s important for ophthalmologists to recognize that an elderly patient is having vision loss.