ZocdocAnswersCan your family doctor test for glaucoma or do you have to see an eye doctor?

Question

Can your family doctor test for glaucoma or do you have to see an eye doctor?

Glaucoma runs in my dad's side of the family. A couple people have had it. I'm nervous I might get it. Can my regular doctor check me for glaucoma or do I have to see an eye doctor?

Answer

Glaucoma, as you probably know, is a serious eye condition that occurs when pressure builds up inside the eye, usually gradually,which can eventually lead to blindness if it is not detected and treated. Glaucoma does have a genetic component, so you are at higher risk because of the fact that your father's family has the condition. Unfortunately, glaucoma usually doesn't have any symptoms until it has progressed significantly; for this reason screening for glaucoma is recommended. Unfortunately, although testing for glaucoma is very simple and only takes a few seconds, the machine that is used to test for it is used only by eye doctors and not by family doctors. Therefore, you will need to make an appointment with your regular eye doctor for this exam. Regardless, it is recommended that most people should have an eye exam with their eye doctor every year (in addition to the annual exam they have with their family doctor). In addition to checking for glaucoma, eye doctors check for numerous other eye conditions and also test your vision, so the visit will definitely be worth your while!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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