Having trouble getting around and being unable to socialize or manage household chores, such as shopping, can make life less enjoyable. What’s more, when you have difficulties getting around on your own, it can lead to long-term nursing care—and even death—for older adults.
One of the keys to maintaining good mobility is having good balance while you perform your daily tasks. Good balance depends on input from:
- Your vision system
- Your balance (vestibular) system
- Your muscle system, including information on how your muscles interact with each other
Finally, your nerves, muscles, and bones must also work together to maintain your posture and movement.
Diseases that affect any of those systems may affect your balance. And if you have a problem with more than one system, it can magnify and worsen the effect on your balance. Experts know that poor vision is a risk factor for poor balance, especially when an older adult is doing complex balancing tasks like standing on one foot.
A team of researchers decided to learn whether poor vision would be more strongly related to standing balance in older adults who had peripheral vascular disease (a common circulation problem that affects the legs) or diabetes. They published their study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Continue reading