Sight tests to detect glaucoma

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7090.1348a (Published 03 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1348

Reliability of screening procedures and effectiveness of treatment need to be assessed

  1. Philip G Griffiths, Consultant ophthalmologista
  1. a Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP
  2. b Department of Ophthalmology, Torbay Hospital, Torquay TQ2 7NP

    Editor—Though Richard Wormald and colleagues refrain from advocating a nationwide screening programme for glaucoma,1 any increase in case finding should be exposed to the same scrutiny as are screening programmes and should fulfill most of the accepted criteria for such programmes.

    Firstly, can glaucoma be easily detected in its early stages? Anyone working in eye clinics flooded with referrals of patients with false positive results will have their doubts. In reality, patients are referred on the basis of raised pressure or visual field loss or apparent cupping of the optic disc rather than a combination of these three variables. As a result, the specificity of screening for glaucoma is too low for an increase in case finding to be advocated.

    Secondly, is blindness due to …

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