Eye examinations 'important even for those without symptoms'

4 July 2016

A new study has shown that more than half of routine eye examinations in asymptomatic patients result in a new vision prescription or other changes in care.

Research from the University of Waterloo analysed data from nearly 6,400 patients seen at the university's eye clinic during a one-year period, of whom 40 per cent reported no problems with blurred vision, headaches or other eye-related symptoms.

In this group of asymptomatic patients, 58 percent of asymptomatic patients had at least one significant change on routine eye examination, with 41 per cent receiving a new prescription for glasses or contact lenses, while 16 per cent had an eye condition diagnosed and 31 per cent saw a change in their approach to patient management.

Older patients were more likely to have significant changes, with the rate of changes resulting from routine eye exams ranging from eight per cent for children under four to 78 per cent for adults aged 65 and older.

Study leader Dr Elizabeth Irving said: "Given an overall greater than 50 per cent detection of significant change, routine eye examinations do appear to be productive in asymptomatic patients, and this appears to increase with age."

Posted by Philip Briggs


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