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Joshua R. Ehrlich MD, MPH, Shirin E. Hassan BAppSc(Optom), PhD, Brian C. Stagg MD, MS

Prevalence of Falls and Fall-Related Outcomes in Older Adults with Self-Reported Vision Impairment

publication date
13 November 2018
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To determine the prevalence of falls, fear of falling (FoF), and activity limitation due to FoF in a nationally representative study of older adults with self-reported vision impairment (VI).


Cross-sectional analysis of panel survey data.


National Health and Aging Trends Study, a nationally representative survey administered annually from 2011 to 2016 to U.S. Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older.


Respondents (N=11,558) who contributed 36,229 participant observations.


We performed logistic regression to calculate the unadjusted and adjusted prevalence of self-reported history of more than 1 fall in the past year, any fall in the past month, FoF, and activity limitation due to FoF in participants with and without self-reported VI.



The weighted proportion of participants reporting VI was 8.6% (95% confidence interval (CI)=8.0–9.2%). The unadjusted prevalence of more than 1 fall in the past year was 27.6% (95% CI=25.5–29.7%) in participants with self-reported VI and 13.2% (95% CI=12.7–13.7%) in those without self-reported VI. In respondents with self-reported VI, the prevalence of FoF was 48.3% (95% CI=46.1–50.6%) and of FoF limiting activity was 50.8% (95%CI 47.3–54.2%), and in those without self-reported VI, the prevalence of FoF was 26.7% (95% CI=25.9–27.5%) and of FoF limiting activity was 33.9% (95% CI=32.4–35.4%). The prevalence of all fall and fall-related outcomes remained significantly higher among those with self-reported VI after adjusting for sociodemographics and potential confounders.


The prevalence of falls, FoF, and activity limitation due to FoF is high in older adults with self-reported VI. This is the first study to provide nationally representative data on the prevalence of fall-related outcomes in older Americans with self-reported VI. These findings demonstrate the need to treat avoidable VI and to develop interventions to prevent falls and fall-related outcomes in this population.


Vision therapy is well worth the response, time and effort. Our Son had a hard time focusing and writing neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time if previously took. His abilities to focus improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent, we wanted learning to be fun for our Son, and vision therapy made this possible.

Amanda T.

Vision Therapy is well worth the expense, time and effort. Our son had a hard time focusing handwriting neatly. After vision therapy Seth could complete a task in half the time it previously took his abilities to focus and improved greatly and so did his handwriting.

Also, he was better at listening. As a parent you wanted learning to be fun for our son and vision therapy made this possible.

Alexa H.

Vision Therapy has given or son the tools he needs to be able to scan and read the written word more effectively and efficiently.

He love working with John and these working sessions give him the motivation to gladly work on his homework assignments.

It amazed us to see the difference in the tracking of his eyes and along a line of it's from the beginning to the end of the treatment.

Dr. McBryar , Kristen and John  are all marvelous and we would recommend them to anyone I only wish that we would have found them sooner!

Charlotte M.

Prior to coming to the institute for vision development my son complained of daily headaches. Therapy has eliminated his headaches completely. I love knowing my son is able to learn pain-free for the rest of his life because of the work that has been done over just a few weeks in this office. He he absolutely loved coming that didn't even feel like going to a doctor or therapy. We are grateful for the relief he was able to find by coming here.

Thank you!

Olivia C.

Seems much less frustrated with life

Reads non-stop and fast

Spelling abilities have been hugely improved

Seems much more confident

Thank You!!!

Kelly O.

When we first came to the practice, my son did not have huge issues, but lots of small ones- trouble with reading, sports (hitting the baseball consistently), coordination, etc- that were not easily detectable,but when put together presented issues. The staff here were all very professional and loving towards him. While I was concerned in the reading, my son was concerned with the athletic side. Seeing improvement night off the bat gave him confidence that i have nor seen in him and made him want to not only Come to therapy, but also made him want to work hard. He has surpassed his grade level and above in reading and hit his first home run this year! Thank you!!!

Alice M.
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