Risk factors for eye disease and injury: literature review

Table 4.5 Summary of results for eye tests

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Summary sheet
number b

Do regular eye tests reduce the incidence of eye disease?Community-based screening of asymptomatic older people did not result in improvements in vision.
A cohort study in Melbourne found that regular eye examinations in people with normal vision only identified very few people (maximum of 0.88%) with vision loss that could not have been identified by symptoms and/or family history. Further research is needed.
There are no RCTs to show the effectiveness or otherwise of population-based screening for glaucoma or for amblyopia in childhood.
No studies were found that properly addressed the issue of frequency of eye testing.
Cochrane review (Level 1)

Prospective cohort (Level III-2)

2 Cochrane reviews (more research needed)
Do regular eye tests improve outcomes for diabetic retinopathy? Regular eye tests appear to be effective for decreasing the incidence of diabetic retinopathy in high-risk patients (although it is not clear how frequent such tests should be), but there appears to be less benefit to frequent screening of low-risk patients or those with negative test results.Large review from general practitioner-based diabetic population in the United Kingdom (Level 1)221
a Groups are as follows:

Group 1 — Clear association/causality
Group 2 — Possible association/causality (more research needed)
Group 3 — Lack of association/causality
Group 4 — Possible lack of association/causality (more research needed)
Group 5 — Conflicting results
Group 6 — Possible protection
Group 7 — No studies

b Summary sheets number refers to the results tables in Appendix 3.
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