Eye Injury Prevention Month: The Most Common Eye Injuries For Seniors And How To Prevent Them

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Eye Injury Prevention Month: The Most Common Eye Injuries For Seniors And How To Prevent Them

July is Eye Injury Prevention Month. The eyes are an incredibly important yet delicate part of the body. Humans are largely visual, relying on our sight as our main sense and trusting it above all other senses. When vision becomes impaired, it can make us unbalanced or unsteady as our sense of depth perception becomes skewed. This can easily lead to falls that result in further eye damage. Since eye conditions that impair vision are often most common in people over 65 years of age, seniors are most at risk for fall-related eye injuries. Various eye injuries that are a result of falls may be avoidable with the right preparation.

Eye Injuries And Prevention

Common Eye Injuries For Seniors
One of the most common ways seniors get injured is by falling. As vision deteriorates, people are more likely to trip over obstacles as well as have an impaired sense of depth perception. This can lead to misjudging of height and subsequent falls. If a fall causes a person to hit their face on a hard surface, it can cause damage to the eye in a variety of ways, such as:

  • A Black Eye. This is a result of trauma to the area surrounding the eye. A black eye occurs when the blood vessels in the skin around the eye, including the eyelid, burst. A black eye is usually a bruise accompanied by swelling, and it can cause vision impairment if the eyelid swells closed or partially closed.
  • An Orbital Bone Fracture. The orbital bones surround the eye and include bones of the eye socket as well as the thicker bones above and below the eye socket that stick farther out. It is common for seniors to break the rim of their lower eye socket (the area where the cheek becomes the lower eyelid) when they fall, as this pushes up when a person hits the floor.
  • A Ruptured Globe. This is when the integrity of the outer membrane of the eye is disrupted either by trauma or a penetrating object. The force of hitting an object during a fall can cause a ruptured globe. Falling onto an object, such as the corner of a table, can also result in a penetration of the eye.

Help Prevent Injuries
While many people assume balance is the cause of fall-related injuries, our vision can also be a major culprit. Help yourself or your loved ones stay safe by taking these precautions:

  • Keep Objects Off Of The Floor. A cluttered floor is a hazard in general, but especially when a person has impaired vision. If someone can’t see objects at their feet, they are likely to trip on them. Keep clutter off the floor to decrease the risk of tripping.
  • Install Grab Handles And Good Railings. Since impaired vision can decrease depth perception, it is important to have something sturdy to hang on to in areas where a person has to step at different heights. This includes stairs, bathtubs, ramps, or anywhere else where there is a sudden height change.
  • Use Good Lighting. If you or a family member has impaired vision, poorly lit spaces can further impair vision and should have increased lighting. It’s incredibly easy to trip when you can’t see where you’re going or if there are things on the ground. Additional lighting in dimly lit areas can make all the difference.
  • Have Regular Eye Exams. If you are 65 or over, you should have an eye exam every year. If you have a visual impairment or an eye condition, your optometrist may recommend more frequent eye exams. Some eye conditions that progress quickly may require frequent eye exams to track and treat the progress of the condition. For those who don’t have a known eye condition, an annual eye exam will ensure that anything that does develop will be caught early so that it does not progress and lead to vision impairment.

Maintain Your Eye Health And Avoid Vision Related Injuries

Keeping your eyes and vision healthy and taking preventative steps to limit hazards will help to prevent eye injuries. If you do suffer an eye injury, do not try to assess the damage yourself. Come to Specs in the City right away so our experienced optometrist can treat your eye emergency. To help prevent eye injuries and to detect eye conditions early, schedule a senior’s eye exam with our Calgary optometrists. At Specs in the City in SE Calgary, our team is here to address your vision concerns and to detect conditions early for the best outcomes. Contact Specs in the City at 1-403-252-2020 or by filling out the online contact form to schedule a senior’s eye exam and protect your eye health.


Q: Does Alberta Health Care cover eye exams?
A: The Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) provides coverage for annual eye exams if you’re between the ages of 0-18, or over 65. The provincial plan can also be used in times of an emergency should you require an immediate appointment with an eye doctor.

Q: I had an eye emergency a while ago and I want to check on my recovery. What can I do?
A: Schedule an eye exam with Specs in the City to have an experienced optometrist assess your eye health and what steps can be taken to assist healing.

Q: What happens if my optometrist detects eye health problems during my senior’s eye exam?
A: Your Calgary optometrist will let you know if they detect any signs of any of these eye conditions and will develop a personalized treatment plan to help prevent any changes from occurring to your vision.

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