The UK NSC recommendation on Glaucoma screening in adults

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended
Last review completed January 2016
Next review due in 2018/19
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Glaucoma is a term used for a group of eye diseases. This recommendation covers the most common type: open angle glaucoma (OAG).


Find general information about population health screening.

Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

  • there are no tests which can accurately predict who is going to develop the disease
  • many people diagnosed with early glaucoma will never suffer visual impairment in their lifetime
  • there isn't any good-quality evidence that demonstrates treatment to be better than no treatment. Additionally, the treatments can cause harm
  • the effectiveness of a screening programme has not been studied; therefore there is no evidence to suggest that a programme would reduce the burden of the disease to the UK population

More about Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions that affect vision. Glaucoma often affects both eyes, usually in varying degrees. One eye may develop glaucoma quicker than the other. If glaucoma is left untreated it can cause blindness. However, if it's diagnosed and treated early enough, further damage to your vision can be prevented.

» Read more about glaucoma on NHS Choices


Age UK
Association for Independent Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians
Association of Optometrists
British and Irish Orthoptic Society
British Association of Retinal Screening
College of Optometrists
Faculty of Public Health
International Glaucoma Association
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Nursing
Royal College of Ophthalmologists
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)
UK Vision Strategy

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

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