The purpose of this study was to determine the intraocular pressure characteristics in glaucoma suspects and patients whose visual fields were classified as stable or progressing over a long-term follow-up. We present data from 64 patients who received either medical or laser treatment and who were followed up for a median of 7.4 years. The visual fields of 27 patients were classified as stable and 37 as progressing using predetermined criteria on either the Tübinger or Goldmann perimeter. Patients with initially normal and initially abnormal fields were analysed separately to avoid bias. There were no significant group differences in the mean, highest or interquartile range of intraocular pressure in the follow-up. The largely overlapping distributions over a wide spectrum of the pressure variables in patients with stable and progressing fields show that intraocular pressure alone cannot separate these two groups of patients. Our study does not suggest that pressure reduction in glaucoma has no beneficial effect, but that there may be other factors which determine the fate of the visual field in glaucoma.