Glaucoma screening

J Med Screen. 1995;2(2):109-14. doi: 10.1177/096914139500200212.


National screening programmes probably cannot be justified at present given difficulties with test validity, manpower, and some doubts about the natural history of the disease. The opportunity cost could be prohibitive, especially when resources are badly needed in other areas of ophthalmology, such as cataract programmes, diabetic retinopathy, and low vision services. The situation could change with an improved test with greater validity for primary screening and such tests are currently under investigation. The results of these investigations will not be available for at least three years. Screening for eye disease at the primary care level begs questions about manpower which need to be answered not just for glaucoma screening but also for detection of diabetic retinopathy and visual impairment in the elderly. A new cadre of ophthalmic paramedics as is already in wide use in some developing countries, who amalgamate the skills of optometrist, orthoptist, and eye trained nurse, is an interesting possibility. Meanwhile, much has to be done to improve current case finding with agreed standards of examination and referral criteria and special facilities available for those at increased risk.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Glaucoma / diagnosis
  • Glaucoma / epidemiology
  • Glaucoma / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Sample Size
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology