Effect of IOP on the visual field in ocuLar hypertension and glaucoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The traditional opinion that increased intraocular pressure is the cause of glaucoma is controversial, probably mainly because of the fact that firm evidence for the value of pressure reduction is largely lacking. The present article reviews results from short term studies of visual fields before and after pressure reduction. It also reviews published and unpublished preliminary results from studies addressing the problem of whether the long term visual field prognosis, in glaucoma and in ocular hypertension, is affected by pressure lowering therapy. There is no convincing agreement among results from modern studies using computerized perimetry indicating that acute lowering of the ocular tension results in an improvement of the glaucomatous visual field. Long-term result are equally conflicting, and often negative. We have noted from a preliminary analysis of our own masked, prospective study of patients with 'high risk' ocular hypertension, that the same results may be interpreted in quite different ways. The results of available studies certainly indicate that pressure reduction does not automatically lead to clear and positive effects on the visual field. The studies have often been small, however, and have usually not had the power of detecting small effects of treatment. Also, pressure reduction has usually not been dramatic and many treated patients have maintained 'elevated' pressure levels. Patients with very high pressures have not been included, and the effect of pressure reduction in this situation has therefore not been investigated at all. More controlled, prospective therapeutic studies are necessary and ethical. It seems particularly important to study the long-term effects of non-pharmacologically induced pressure reduction in patients with manifest field loss.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ophthalmology


  • Glaucoma/therapy, Humans, Intraocular Pressure, Ocular Hypertension/therapy, Prognosis, Risk Factors, Timolol/therapeutic use, Visual Fields
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-24
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Ophthalmology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1989 Jan
Publication categoryResearch