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Exam Frequency

The frequency of performing ophthalmic screening depends on the patient's age and the risk of having ophthalmic disorders.

Patients can be separated into two groups: those at high risk and those at low risk.

Those at high risk for ophthalmic disorders:

  • Aged over 65 years
  • Past retinal detachment
  • Past serious ocular trauma
  • Persistent visual loss
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Other heritable ocular disease
Screen every 2 years. Schedule exam by an ophthalmologist shortly after a high-risk factor has been identified.

Those at low risk for ophthalmic disorders:

  • Ages 6 to 40: screen for visual acuity every 3 years. Refer to an ophthalmologist if you find an abnormality.
  • Ages 40 to 65: do complete exam every 2 years. Schedule exam by ophthalmologist every 4 years to monitor for glaucoma and to provide optical correction for presbyopia.
You do not need to screen for glaucoma by performing tonometry. Why not? Because a single tonometric reading can be misleading. Assessment of optic disc cupping is much more meaningful.

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