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Old 01-21-2018, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Florida
19,827 posts, read 19,921,769 times
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Not sure if this should be here in the "old folks" forum or on the Health forum but here's the situation.
Lately, last several months, I have found myself very insecure and hesitant about walking in very dim or almost dark light.
Even though I could see across the room (night light on) that it was totally clear, I still walked very hesitantly to the other room.
Parking lot light was out and I only felt secure by holding someone's arm to get to the car.
An age thing? Eyesight? Psychological?
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Old 01-21-2018, 06:44 AM
 
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Cataracts can develop quickly. If you are having trouble walking in dim light, it is time for an eye exam.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:23 AM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,436 posts, read 1,673,946 times
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I was thinking eyesight and possibly cataracts also. My cataracts have been growing gradually, but have accelerated in the last two years. Low light, low contrast is difficult and does affect my depth perception. Dusk is when I notice it the most.

Last edited by jean_ji; 01-21-2018 at 09:27 AM..
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:36 AM
 
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Could you see or were you just afraid? One is a physical thing and the other is psychological.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:41 AM
 
2,635 posts, read 3,378,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
Not sure if this should be here in the "old folks" forum or on the Health forum but here's the situation.
Lately, last several months, I have found myself very insecure and hesitant about walking in very dim or almost dark light.
Even though I could see across the room (night light on) that it was totally clear, I still walked very hesitantly to the other room.
Parking lot light was out and I only felt secure by holding someone's arm to get to the car.
An age thing? Eyesight? Psychological?

I would also mention it to your doctor. You might be developing some neuropathy (nerve problem) in your feet/lower legs. Neuropathy can lead to abnormal foot sensation.... they feel a little numb or you have difficulty feeling exactly where they are in space. Often it starts first in the big toes, then over time spreads to the foot, and then much later.... to the lower leg in some cases.

One of the classic signs of developing this problem is having more falls or balance difficulties in the dark/low light. People may also notice unsteadiness in the shower while standing, when they close their eyes (often done when you are washing your hair).

Common causes of neuropathy include diabetes, alcohol use, B12 deficiency, thyroid problems, but most of the time we never figure out what causes it. It becomes very important to identify it, because it is associated with increased risk of falls over time, and if you can find the cause you might be able to treat the problem. It may also interfere with driving.

I agree with having your eyes checked too. Make sure you wear non-slip shoes, keep your house well lit and place motion detector lights outside of your house to help you when entering/exciting at night. Remove loose carpets that you might trip on if walking in the dark/low light.

My Dad has severe neuropathy, and we have some of his home lights controlled by an Alexa device so he never has to walk in the dark. He can turn lights on with his voice. He uses a shower bench in the shower, as standing is dangerous. Physical therapy is helpful. Avoiding walking outside in the dark in bad weather is safest. Avoiding alcohol is also smart.

Falls can be life changing.... life ending... as we get older. Do everything you can do prevent them.
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Old 01-21-2018, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,455 posts, read 1,157,295 times
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It could be due to mild vertigo (mild Meniere's disease or BPPV - Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)

Your vision compensates for your ears. Both senses tell your body where you are in space. If you suspect that this could be due to inner ear imbalance, close your eyes and try to walk to see if you also seems to loose your footing.

For BPPV (which both my husband and myself experienced recently. It is caused by micro calcium crystals floating around in the semi circular ear canals), you can test by quickly turning your head to one side then the other to see if the unbalanced feeling increases. The side which makes you feel dizzy is the affected side.

I agree with others that you should definitely have your eyes examined.

Last edited by BellaDL; 01-21-2018 at 09:31 AM..
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:31 PM
 
5,429 posts, read 3,455,723 times
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Do you have osteoarthritis? Having osteoarthritis can strongly affect balance, walking, standing up from a sitting position, being sure of stepping forward - and with osteoarthritis, walking without something to hold onto can affect sure-footedness.

The stiffness in the joints can throw one off-balance. As can some lack of flexibility in the joints and body.
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,264 posts, read 3,025,579 times
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Get an eye check and if they find cataracts, get the surgery. I did it 20 years ago and it is even simpler today. I went in in the morning and was home for lunch. They do them one at a time, usually a week or 2 apart. Afterward I went to the DMV and got my eyeglasses taken off my drivers license.
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Old 01-22-2018, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Florida
19,827 posts, read 19,921,769 times
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Thanks. Thought about and dismissed most suggestions except to have an eye exam. Last glasses are over 3 years old and getting noticeably inadequate in every way.
I've already had cataracts taken care of and legs and feet are perfectly normal.
Do have a little osteoarthritis in back but it interferes with hardly anything...except pain when overdoing it sometimes, of course.
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Old 01-22-2018, 07:15 AM
 
11,145 posts, read 8,555,795 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
Thanks. Thought about and dismissed most suggestions except to have an eye exam. Last glasses are over 3 years old and getting noticeably inadequate in every way.
I've already had cataracts taken care of and legs and feet are perfectly normal.
Do have a little osteoarthritis in back but it interferes with hardly anything...except pain when overdoing it sometimes, of course.
So it is a vision issue?
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