Switching eyewear could prevent some falls among seniors, study finds

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Seniors who wear multifocal prescription glasses could reduce their risk of falling if they switch to a single-focus lens while walking outdoors, new research finds.

Many seniors wear bifocal or multifocal prescription glasses to help see both close-range and distant objects. Among seniors who spend a lot of time outdoors, these types of lenses could contribute to falls, according to a new British study. Researchers studied 606 seniors aged 65 and older who used such lenses while walking outdoors.

Half the seniors were given single-focus prescription lenses to use while outside. Overall, falls were reduced by 8% among the single-focus lens cohort. There was a 40% reduction among those who were used to walking around outside, but seniors who typically spent their time inside saw an increased risk of falling, suggesting that switching to a single-focus lens might not be a good solution for those seniors.