Symptoms related to glaucomatous visual field abnormalities among male Japanese workers in a population-based setting

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ABSTRACT.Purpose:To identify symptoms potentially related to glaucomatous visual field abnormalities (VFAs) in a population-based setting, and to assess the applicability of using these symptoms to identify persons at risk of developing glaucoma.Methods:In this study, 10 214 Japanese male general workers (mean age, 45.3 ± 8.8 years) filled out a self-administered questionnaire and underwent frequency doubling technology (FDT) perimetry testing. The questionnaire inquired about whether the participant was suffering from any of nine symptoms, with scores for each response graded on a four-item Likert scale: 0 (none), 1 (rarely), 2 (sometimes), and 3 (always). Results from the questionnaire were compared among three groups: participants without any VFAs (9767), participants with VFAs as determined by the FDT test (FDT-VFA; 447), and 227 participants (of the 447 FDT-VFA participants) with glaucomatous VFAs who were newly diagnosed by ophthalmologic examinations.Results:The mean summed scores for the total items were significantly (p < 0.01) higher in FDT- and glaucomatous VFA groups than in normal subjects. In particular, responses citing the symptoms ‘feeling of something in the front of the eye’ and ‘feeling of hardness to see in dark places’ were significantly (p < 0.05) more frequent in subjects with FDT- and glaucomatous VFAs than among normal participants. However, the respective areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve of summed scores for the nine total items and for the two items which showed significant differences for the glaucoma groups were 0.57 (95% confidence interval = 0.53–0.60) and 0.58 (95% confidence interval = 0.54–0.61).Conclusion:Although the symptoms ‘feeling of hardness to see in dark places’ and ‘feeling of something in the front of the eye’ could be associated with glaucomatous VFA in a population-based setting, inquiring about symptoms is of little aid in identifying subjects with glaucomatous VFA as a strategy for public health.

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