Friday, June 29, 2012
Family History and Glaucoma Screening
A screening test should be easy to do. It should be relatively inexpensive. It shouldn't hurt! The test should be able to identify pretty much anyone who MIGHT have the disease, and it definitely shouldn't miss anyone who actually HAS the disease (a false negative result). In a perfect world the screening test would not falsely find that healthy people have a the test (a false positive result), but we usually accept less accuracy here because we don't want to miss anyone who is at risk.
So how about Glaucoma screening? Well, high pressure is a risk factor for Glaucoma, so identifying people with high pressure will get them referred to an eye doctor which is what we want. There is something called a "nerve fiber analyzer" which will also do the same thing but with a little higher accuracy. Both of these screenings suffer from the expense of the equipment and the need to have trained people doing the test.
Do you have Glaucoma? Tell all of your relatives to have a complete eye exam.