If you are younger than 40 and have no known risk factors for glaucoma, the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) recommends that you have a complete eye examination at least every 10 years. This includes tests that check for glaucoma.footnote 1 The COS suggests more frequent routine eye examinations as you age.
The COS also suggests that people who are at risk for glaucoma have complete eye examinations according to the schedule below:
- Ages 40 to 49, at least every 3 years
- Ages 50 to 59, at least every 2 years
- Age 60 and older, at least once a year
Your eye doctor may advise you to have eye examinations more often, depending on your level of risk and your overall eye health.
People at increased risk for glaucoma include those who:footnote 2
- Are middle-aged and older. The chance of getting glaucoma gets higher as you age, especially after age 40.
- Have a family history of glaucoma.
- Have high eye pressure (high intraocular pressure).
- Are of African ancestry (for open-angle glaucoma).
- Are East Asians and people with East Asian ancestry (for closed-angle glaucoma).
- Are farsighted (greater risk for developing closed-angle glaucoma).
- Have had an eye injury or eye surgery, such as cataract surgery.
- Have diabetes.
- Have high blood pressure (hypertension).
- Have been taking corticosteroid medicines.
Because people with glaucoma may have normal pressures in their eyes, measuring eye pressure (tonometry) should not be used as the only test for glaucoma. It needs to be combined with other tests before glaucoma can be diagnosed.
After reviewing all of the research, the Canadian Task Force on the Periodic Health Examination (CTFPHE) has not recommended for or against routine glaucoma screening for all adults.
For more information about glaucoma and vision screening, see the topics Glaucoma and Vision Tests.
- Canadian Ophthalmological Society (2007). Canadian Ophthalmological Society evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the periodic eye examination in adults in Europe. Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology, 42: 39–45. Also available online: http://www.eyesite.ca/resources/CPGs/COSVisionScreeningCPGEng_Feb07.
- American Academy of Ophthalmology (2010). Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Suspect (Preferred Practice Pattern). San Francisco. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Also available online: http://aao.org/ppp.
Other Works Consulted
- American Academy of Ophthalmology (2010). Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (Preferred Practice Pattern). San Francisco: American Academy of Ophthalmology. Also available online: http://aao.org/ppp.
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher Joseph Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Current as ofDecember 3, 2017
Current as of: December 3, 2017