Thirty patients with ocular hypertension were tested for contrast sensitivity loss. Seventeen were not on treatment, and thirteen were receiving some form of pressure reducing therapy. The contrast sensitivity results of 63% of ocular hypertensive eyes were abnormal (greater than 2 SDs from the age matched norm). Thus it appears that contrast sensitivity can detect early visual loss in patients who have normal visual fields and it is suggested that this test might be used as a criterion for therapy in ocular hypertension. There was no significant difference in the intraocular pressures between patients who gave abnormal contrast sensitivity results and those who did not in the untreated group (p greater than 0.05), suggesting that intraocular pressure level is a poor predictor of optic nerve fibre damage in patients with ocular hypertension.
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