Nerve fiber layer loss precedes visual deficits in glaucoma patients, potentially allowing for early intervention, but it may be harder to get them to take their condition seriously until they feel the real-world consequences of it. A report published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology suggests that preperimetric glaucoma is not associated with loss in quality of life compared with healthy individuals.1 

The investigators looked at 45 patients with preperimetric glaucoma, 102 patients with perimetric glaucoma and 81 healthy controls. Quality of life was measured using the 25-item National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-25). Contrary to perimetric glaucoma, the researchers saw no significant difference in the scores between the preperimetric and control groups.1

Previous studies show that glaucoma patients who suffer loss of function report significant reductions in quality of life, with one retrospective analysis showing more than half reported difficulty in everyday tasks such as driving, reading, navigating stairs and even recognizing people.2

1. Daga F, Gracitelli C Diniz-Filho A, Medeiros F. Is vision-related quality of life impaired in patients with preperimetric glaucoma? Bri J Ophthalmol. July 26, 2018. [Epub ahead of print].

2. Quaranta L, Riva I, Gerardi C, et al. Quality of life in glaucoma: a review of the literature. Adv Ther. 2016;33:959-81.