Contrast sensitivity has been measured in patients with glaucoma and ocular hypertension, the latter graded into high, medium, and low risk clinical groups. Measurements were made centrally and peripherally at 10 degrees, 15 degrees, 20 degrees, and 25 degrees off-axis at each of the four meridians 45 degrees, 135 degrees, 225 degrees, and 315 degrees. A sine wave grating of 1.9 cycles/degree, reversing at 1 Hz was used. It was displayed on a 100-Hz refresh rate monitor. Normal values were established to compare those from 41 eyes from patients with either primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) with minimal field loss detectable on a Humphrey perimeter, or raised IOP and/or disc changes but no field loss (OH). Those with POAG had normal central contrast sensitivity, but at 20 degrees and 25 degrees eccentricity the values were greater than 2 standard deviations above the normal mean. This was also the case for high risk OH, but not for low risk patients. All the high risk patients except one who had abnormal peripheral contrast sensitivity had possible field defects (threshold elevation at one or more points more than 5 but less than 10 dB above normal mean). Only one of those with normal peripheral contrast sensitivity had such 'suspect points'. The results are assessed in terms of screening of glaucoma suspects.
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