October 23, 2018
Senior women having eye examination.

Should You Be Tested for Glaucoma?

by Berkeley Wellness  

There are no hard-and-fast recommendations about who should be tested for glaucoma and how often, nor is there a gold standard test for glaucoma.

When you see an optometrist or ophthalmologist, you’ll usually get an eye-pressure test, as well as the test for peripheral vision and an exam of the optic nerve. The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Optometric Association have different recommendations regarding eye exams. The Academy recommends healthy people have a baseline eye exam at age 40, after which your ophthalmologist will determine the optimal frequency of exams going forward. People at risk for glaucoma—including those with a family history or who have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other risk factors, as well as people who are 65 or older—should have an eye exam every 1 to 2 years.

The American Optometric Association recommends that healthy people ages 18 to 60 have an eye exam every two years, or more frequently if at elevated risk; those who are older than 60 should have an eye exam every year. Follow the advice of your eye-care professional about the frequency of screenings.

A family history of glaucoma is also a risk factor. You should also be tested for glaucoma if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, since the drop in blood oxygen levels that occurs with apneic episodes may damage the optic nerve.