Intraocular light scatter in patients on topical intraocular pressure–lowering medication

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To quantify ocular light scattering in patients under treatment with intraocular pressure–lowering eye-drops.


In this prospective, observational, cross-sectional case series study, 160 eyes of 160 patients with primary open angle glaucoma or primary ocular hypertension were consecutively recruited from our Glaucoma Department over 7 months. In total, 46 eyes of 46 healthy volunteers matched for age and sex served as the control group. The variables recorded in a single visit were as follows: drug and number of drops per day, treatment duration, OXFORD corneal staining grade, lower tear meniscus height as measured by spectral domain optical coherence tomography, ocular redness and non-invasive tear breakup time measured with the Oculus Keratograph 5M, ocular surface disease index questionnaire score and objective scatter index through a double-pass technique (Optical Analysis System II).


Objective scatter index was higher in the patient group (3.1, interquartile range = 1.8–5.47) than in the control group (1.95; interquartile range = 0.7–5; p = 0.017). In a multiple linear regression model, non-invasive tear breakup time was identified as the most influential variable on light scatter (mean ratio = −1.015; p = 0.003; 95% confidence interval = −1.025 to −1.005). No correlation with objective scatter index was observed for number of daily eye-drops, preservative concentration or treatment duration.


Participants on anti-glaucoma medication showed a significantly higher objective scatter index than control group individuals. In the treated patient group, a lower non-invasive tear breakup time was associated with a higher objective scatter index. This suggests that lubricating eye-drops to improve tear breakup time could also improve vision quality in these patients by diminishing light scattering.

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