Colour contrast sensitivity (CCS) of a large cohort of glaucomatous patients, ocular hypertensive patients (OH), and normal persons was measured at six-month intervals during a two-year period. The OHs were graded into high, medium, and low risk groups. 69% of glaucomatous patients and 32% of all OHs had CCS thresholds greater than the mean plus 2 SDs of the controls. Satisfactory specificity and sensitivity could not be obtained by adjusting the criterion of threshold. In abnormal eyes, progressive small increases of threshold occurred during the study, but glaucomatous eyes with normal thresholds on the first visit retained normal thresholds in the subsequent visits. Although our system is very sensitive and precise, the proportion of abnormalities detected is no greater than with other techniques. In some glaucomatous patients there is a true preservation of colour vision which does not merely reflect the limitations of the test employed.
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