Vision and falls: A multidisciplinary review of the contributions of visual impairment to falls among older adults

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Falls are a leading cause of mortality among older adults worldwide. With the increasing aging population, falls are rapidly becoming a public health concern. Numerous internal and external factors have been associated with an older adult’s increased risk of falling. Most notably visual impairments are gaining recognition for their critical role in fall events, particularly related to trips, slips and falls due to environmental hazards. This review presents the issue of vision and falls from a multidisciplinary health professional perspective. Discussions include the influence of visual impairment on mobility and activities of daily living, the effects of medications on vision, visual cognitive factors on falls risk and visual training interventions. Finally, implications for multidisciplinary health professional practice and suggestions for future research are offered.