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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009 Apr;50(4):1718-25. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-2575. Epub 2008 Dec 5.

Evaluating clinical change and visual function concerns in drivers and nondrivers with glaucoma.

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Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029, USA.



To compare drivers and nondrivers, and to describe the specific concerns of drivers, among individuals with glaucoma.


Six hundred seven patients with newly diagnosed glaucoma treated at 14 clinical centers of the Collaborative Initial Glaucoma Treatment Study were randomly assigned to initial medicine or surgery and were followed up every 6 months. Driving status (drivers versus nondrivers) and patient-reported visual function were determined by the Visual Activities Questionnaire and the National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire. Clinical evaluation included visual field mean deviation (MD) and visual acuity. Statistical comparisons were made using t, chi(2), and exact tests and regression and Rasch analyses.


Drivers were more likely than nondrivers to be male, white, married, employed, and more educated and to have higher incomes and fewer comorbidities. More than 50% of drivers reported at least "some" difficulty performing tasks involving glare, whereas 22% reported at least "some" difficulty with tasks requiring peripheral vision. At 54 months, drivers with moderate/severe bilateral visual field loss (VFL) reported greater difficulty with night driving and tasks involving visual search and visual processing speed than drivers with less bilateral VFL (all P<0.05). Although those who remained drivers over follow-up had better MD in both eyes than those who became nondrivers because of eyesight, a number of drivers had marked VFL.


Inquiring about specific difficulties with tasks related to glare, visual processing speed, visual search, and peripheral vision in driving, especially among patients with substantial bilateral visual field damage, will enable physicians to more effectively counsel patients regarding driving.

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