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  1. Whiteside, Meredith M. OD, FAAO
  2. Wallhagen, Margaret I. PhD, APRN,BC, GNP, AGSF
  3. Pettengill, Elaine PhD, RN


While changes in vision are a normal part of aging, regular assessment and the use of assistive devices can keep older adults active and independent.


Overview: A decline in vision occurs naturally with age; more severe impairment can result from medical conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Nurses can pick up signs of visual impairment and suggest certain environmental modifications to prevent injury, such as keeping floors free of clutter and rooms well lit. Although assistive technologies such as optical devices, magnifiers, telescopes, and electronic magnification can help, some forms of impairment, such as that caused by cataracts and uncorrected refractive error, can be correceted.