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Have glaucoma. Is visual field testing necessary?

I was diagnosed with glaucoma after having to take high doses of steroids. My pressure has stayed good with eye drops where several times they took me off drops. My visual field tests have been normal for years. Due to financial problems I have refused the frequent visual field testing that I find tiring and irritating. Am I bring unreasonable?
Asked On : Thu, 4 Apr 2013
Answers:  2 Views:  81
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi and welcome to HCM.

Thanks for posting your query here. Glaucoma is a condition where there is elevation of IOP- Intra occular pressure means pressure with in the eye. The normal level pressure maintenance is essential to avoid pressure effects on the blood vessels and nerves of the eye.

The reason for your high dosage steroid is not mentioned. A few conditions like rheumatic arthritis, dermatitis and asthma require steroid usage. First check it out whether it is open angle or closed angle glaucoma.

The treatment varies with the two conditions. The necessity for visual field testing is to monitor the function of nerves of the eye. Because of pressure changes there are chances of losing peripheral vision. Thats why you are subjected to frequent visual field testing.

If the steroids are stopped there are 70% chances of the IOP to come to the normal level. Ask your doctor for an alternative treatment instead of steroids if possible.

Once the pressure in the eye is normal there is no need for frequent visual field testing.

Hope this is useful to you.


Answered: Thu, 4 Apr 2013
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General & Family Physician Dr. Sunil 's  Response
Thanks for posting your query.
As you have been diagnosed with glaucoma which is one of the most common cause of preventable blindness. It is necessary to timely check your visual field tests so that doctor can assess the progression of disease and adjust the therapy and dose according to your need.
It is better to prevent any disability then leaving it to happen.
Hope it helps.
Take Care!
Answered: Thu, 4 Apr 2013
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