Screening for over 40s
Regular ophthalmological check-ups are recommended above a certain age (about 40 years). The examination serves primarily to detect early signs of glaucoma. Five percent of the adult population suffers from glaucoma, which can lead to blindness if left untreated. The examination includes an assessment of the optic nerve, the intraocular pressure, and, in certain cases, a visual-field test and evaluation of the nerve fiber layer, using OCT. It should be noted that relying solely on pressure measurements for diagnosis can be misleading (as it is with blood pressure measurements) because fluctuations mean that glaucoma can easily be overlooked.
Age-related eyesight deterioration (presbyopia) sets in after approximately 45 years. This is a natural process and is usually remedied with the provision of reading glasses.
People from families (including the wider family) with a history of ocular diseases should be checked earlier. Children of “cross-eyed” or “squint” (strabismus) parents should undergo precautionary examinations in infancy or early childhood.