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New Canadian Guideline for Screening for Impaired Vision in Older Adults

The guideline, published in English and French in the Canadian Medical Association Journal by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (CTFPHC), is aimed at primary care practitioners.

The task force considered the benefits of screening for visual impairment in primary health care and referring patients to optometrists for formal vision testing. The new guideline recommends against primary care screening of older adults not reporting concerns about their vision.

“We found no evidence of benefit to patients aged 65 years or older from being screened for impaired vision as a way to prevent limitations on daily living or other consequences,” said Dr. Brenda Wilson, Task Force Impaired Vision Working Group Chair. “The task force therefore recommends against screening for impaired vision in primary care settings for people living independently in the community.”

This guideline was last updated in 1995, where primary screening was recommended for elderly patients with at least a 5 years’ history of diabetes.

The new guideline is available for download in English and French.

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