Research has shown that corneal thinning, increased eye pressure, and loss of visual field are indicators of glaucoma progression.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of permanent vision loss worldwide. Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss and blindness. Previous research into risk factors for glaucoma did not always represent most glaucoma patients or the practices for treating them. The aim of this study was to assess whether the main risk factors identified in populations enrolled in the major randomized clinical trials could also be applied to populations observed in cases more closely related to typical clinical practice.
The researchers collected data from people who participated in the New York Glaucoma Progression Study with at least 8 visits for visual field loss. The research included visual field analysis, lens photos, and measurement of peak IOP (intraocular pressure), the highest level of pressure in the fluid in the eye. A total of 587 eyes of 587 people were examined.
The study found that glaucoma was more likely to progression when the maximum intraocular pressure was 18 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or more. Additional risk factors included the presence of a disc hemorrhage in the retina of the eye, thinning of the cornea, and also atrophy in part of the eye.
Probably the most important results concerned the effects of intraocular pressure. They showed that for every increase in intraocular pressure in mm Hg, the risk of progression for treated glaucoma patients increases significantly. Since this is a simple measurement that can be taken in the clinical setting, the results could help clinicians decide how aggressively to treat certain people in order to slow the progression of glaucoma. The research also highlighted intervertebral disc hemorrhage as an “indirect sign” of a possible loss of visual field and erosion of the visual field as well as thinning of the cornea as predictors of the progression of glaucoma.
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