September 21, 2018
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Macular damage associated with worse vision-related quality of life in early glaucoma

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Macular damage in patients with early glaucoma significantly affects vision-related quality of life, according to a study.

These conclusions were based on the results of the NEI Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25) filled in by patients with early glaucoma with and without macular damage.

Forty-four participants with early open angle glaucoma were included. Macular damage was assessed by visual field and SD-OCT. All patients answered the NEI VFQ-25 questionnaire, consisting of 51 items related to vision, ocular pain, mental status, activities, social life, dependency and driving difficulties.

Twelve patients (27%) had bilateral macular damage, 15 (34%) had unilateral macular damage, and 17 (39%) showed no signs of macular damage in either eye. Patients with macular damage in either eye reported worse quality of life than those without macular damage.

According to the authors, not only visual field loss but also other dimensions of vision, such as contrast sensitivity, may contribute to the lower vision-related quality of life (VRQoL).

“The nature of the visual defects associated with the VRQoL is not clear,” the authors noted. “Further analyses to measure the effects of contrast sensitivity, acquired color vision deficiency, and reading and driving ability may elucidate the factors that affect VRQoL in the setting of macular damage.”

The impact of macular damage on quality of life may have significant clinical implications, they pointed out. The quality of life of patients with early glaucoma and macular damage should be regularly and closely monitored, and more aggressive treatment should be considered in case of quality of life decrease, “to ameliorate their disease burden,” the authors concluded.– by Michela Cimberle

Disclosure: Garg reported no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for the other authors’ financial disclosures.