29th Annual RESNA Conference Proceedings

The Relationship Between Bifocal Eyeglass Use and Factors Related to the Risk of Falling

Abby Brayton BS, Kathy Longenecker Rust, MS, OTR, Roger O. Smith, PhD, OT


This study investigated the role of bifocal glasses as a contributing factor to the risk of falling. It was hypothesized that the use of bifocals will increase the user's risk for falling in adults aged 40-59. Bifocal users were hypothesized to perform more poorly on depth perception and distant edge contrast sensitivity measures through the lower portion of their lens than the upper portion of their lens. Data was analyzed using Wilcoxon Signed Rank tests and the hypotheses were supported. Bifocal users performed significantly worse in the lower viewing condition on both depth perception (z = -2.362, p = .009) and distant edge contrast sensitivity (z = -2.707, p = .007). This study supports the theory that bifocal glasses impair distant edge contrast sensitivity and depth perception, thereby placing bifocal users at an increased risk for falling. Future research is warranted on the use of bifocal glasses as a risk for falling.


Multifocal lens; accidental falls; bifocal lenses

Kathy Longenecker Rust
R2D2 Center, Enderis 135
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413

This should be in the right column.