March 31, 2016 – No Eyes


Anchor lead: Your primary care doc probably won’t be screening your eyes, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Your primary care doc shouldn’t add vision screening to the list of tests you get in his or her office, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended recently.  Redonda Miller, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, explains why.

Miller:  There was not clear proof that early intervention for the types of diseases picked up by a standard eye chart is of benefit. That by the time the cataract needs to be fixed the patient already has symptoms and would have already approached an eye specialist.  :15

Miller says she’s okay with not screening eyes herself, but definitely advocates for having such screening.

Miller:  As an internist who wants to take care of the whole patient, you want to make sure that you’re not excluding the eyes.  I do more than recommend, I make sure I facilitate that they have the appointment in hand when they leave the office and I go over the importance of it, because I really do think a very thorough eye exam has huge benefit.   :18

Miller notes that most eye conditions do respond best when found early.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.