Lifetime visual prognosis of patients with glaucoma

Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2011 Nov;39(8):766-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.2011.02559.x. Epub 2011 Apr 27.


Background: To investigate the visual outcome of glaucoma patients.

Design: This is a retrospective study of case notes of patients who died while under follow up in a glaucoma clinic of a University Hospital in Scotland between 2006 and 2009.

Participants: Seventy-seven patients were identified.

Methods: Data collected included type of glaucoma, coexisting pathology and best-corrected visual acuity in Snellen (converted to decimal values) for the first and final clinic visit. The final visual status was evaluated based on the best-corrected visual acuity of the better seeing eye at the last glaucoma clinic visit. Patients who had best-corrected visual acuity of less than Snellen decimal 0.5 were considered not to meet the standards for driving.

Main outcome measures: Snellen decimal best-corrected visual acuity, fulfilment of driving standards, and eligibility for partial sight and blind registration at the last clinic visit.

Results: The mean ages at presentation and death were 71.8 ± 10.3 years and 82.2 ± 8.7 years respectively. The mean Snellen decimal best-corrected visual acuity of the better eye at presentation was 0.78, and at the final clinic visit was 0.61. At the final clinic visit, no patients were partial sight registrable, four (5.2%) were blind registrable, and 27 (35.1%) did not fulfil UK driving criteria. Glaucoma patients with other ocular pathologies were more likely to fail UK driving criteria at presentation (P = 0.02) and at last clinic visit (P = 0.03).

Conclusion: The majority of glaucoma patients maintained good visual function at the end of their lifetime.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blindness / epidemiology
  • Blindness / etiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glaucoma / complications
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Visual Acuity*