The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force last week released its final recommendation statement on screening for open-angle glaucoma, stating that there is not enough evidence to determine the accuracy and effectiveness of glaucoma screening in primary care settings for adults who do not have vision problems. Based on this lack of clear evidence, the task force could not make a recommendation for or against screening adults for glaucoma at this time. In response, the National Eye Institute has prepared a Statement on the Difference Between Screening and Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exams in Detecting Glaucoma:

    "While the task force concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove that widespread glaucoma screening reduces blindness risk or improves quality of life, this recommendation does not mean that comprehensive dilated eye examinations are not important for preventing vision loss among Americans," said Dr. James Tsai, chair of the Glaucoma Subcommittee for the National Eye Institute's National Eye Health Education Program.

    The task force is an independent panel of health care experts that evaluates the latest scientific evidence on clinical preventive services. It makes recommendations to various associations and organizations, including the National Eye Institute.