Frequent pressure shifts increase risk of blindness in glaucoma patients

at home fluctuated by 4.3 mmHg and ranged from 1.5 to 12.5 mmHg. Over a five-day period, fluctuation was even greater 10 mmHg and ranged from 4.4 mmHg to 18.5 mmHg.

The patients' test results were compared to their medical records and vision tests over the next eight years.

The study found that:

  • The measures taken at home over the five days were the strongest indicator of further vision loss (after accounting for baseline visual field loss). After eight years, 43 percent of patients with low fluctuations remained stable, compared with only 12 percent of those with high fluctuations in pressure.

  • Moderate and severe visual field loss at the start of the study was strongly associated with progression, increasing the risk of further vision loss by three to eight times.

  • Whites had significantly less risk of vision loss than people of other races. By the end of two years, the risk of further vision loss was far higher for African-Americans compared with whites. However, the number of African-Americans studied was small and further study is needed, Zeimer says.


Contact: Karen Infeld
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

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