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Overseas health insurance news: Poor eyesight 'increases fall risk'

Expatriate health insurance customers should consider getting their vision checked to prevent falls, according to a comprehensive new study.

The College of Optometrists and the British Geriatrics Society published the research, which highlights how poor eyesight can lead to debilitating accidents.

Around half of people over the age of 80 will fall over every year, so the organisations have announced the launch of National Falls Awareness Week.

This aims to raise common understanding of the need for elderly people to have eye tests in order to reduce this risk.

As falls are a leading cause of disability and the most frequent reason why people over 75 in the UK die due to injury, the joint publication hopes to show that the danger of this can be reduced.

The leading cause of blindness in western parts of the world is age-related macular degeneration, but glaucoma is also common. Both these conditions are more likely to occur among older people.

Peripheral and central visual impairment have both been linked to falls and hip fractures.

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