Hearing and vision impairment and the 5-year incidence of falls in older adults

Hearing and vision impairment and the 5-year incidence of falls in older adults

Vision and hearing loss occurring simultaneously is common in older adults.  Recent studies indicate that individuals with Duel Sensory Impairment – a common condition in older adults with diabetes and cardiovascular conditions - are at an increased risk of falling. One 2016 study, published in the peer reviewed journal Age and Aging, analyzed the records of 1,478 adults over the age of 55 and found that those with Duel Sensory Impairment (hearing loss and vision loss) were more than two times likely to suffer the debilitating consequences of a fall. 

The conclusions of the Australian researchers were that adults over the age of 55, particularly those with cardiovascular or endocrinal conditions have their hearing routinely screened by a hearing care professional. 

Regardless of the patient’s age, medical history or other factors, the hearing care professional               can devise an individualized treatment plan for any older adult with a suspected hearing loss. The process starts with a referral to a qualified hearing care professional

Reference: Age Ageing. 2016 May;45(3):409-14