Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. Over half of Americans will suffer from cataracts by the time they are 80 years old. Cataracts contribute to a decrease in a senior's ability to perform activities of daily living such as dressing, meal preparation, and safe ambulation. There is plentiful evidence that visual impairment is a significant factor in increased fall risk in the elderly.

A study presented by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology revealed that falls in those with poor vision are radically reduced after cataract surgery. More than 400 people over 50 years old with cataracts in both eyes were monitored before and after having cataract surgery in just one eye. After the surgery the rate of falls experienced in this group decreased by an astounding 78 percent. Management and treatment of cataracts may significantly minimize the risk of falls in the elderly population. The benefit of increasing vision and its affect on balance and coordination is an important factor to consider when determining the course of treatment for a senior who is developing cataracts.

Learn more about how to detect and treat cataracts in the elderly.