Changeable visual field

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Hello I have chronic open glaucoma in my left eye and I attend the eye clinic every 6/8 months.  I use AZOPT twice a day in left eye only.  At my last visit pressures were 18 in both eyes.  Field test in right eye was normal but left eye field test was changeable.  I did not know this until I received a copy of GP's letter from hospital.  They were so busy that day that I was in and out.  I will be seen in 8 months with a fresh visual field test.  Can any tell me what is meant by a changeable visual field.  Previous to this last visit they have always been stable.  Thanks.

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  • Posted

    I would ask the opthalmologist who performed the test.  Does "changeable" mean that it changed from your last visual field test 8 months ago?  If it did, then the doctor should explain the nature of the change and what it means, if anything.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. The doctor who is one of of a few doctors who I have seen before. As mentioned he was very busy he did not mention the field test which I had before going into see him. He did the examination and said good see you 8 months. It was when I received the letter that I was surprised as I assumed all was stable. The letter said right eye normal left eye changeable. I must admit I did find the field tests uncomfortable this time due to neck arthritis flare and also a flare up of my blepharitis. I tried googling changeable field but could not find anything. I remember the nurse who did the fields kept saying please keep looking ahead at the Orange spot which of course I know to do having had many over the years. I wonder if my eyes were sore and this was the reason. I have only been under this clinic for 2 years having previously lived in Greater London and Minefields.
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  • Posted

    You most likely won't find anything when searching the internet. Changeable visual field is just wording they use in their office. Our office will say a decrease in sensitivity etc. I think they only mean that there is a change from previously, but if your pressures are stable from previously than it could be a fluke. Sometimes a patient can have a field that is not as perfect as the previous one if they are not positioned correctly or the lens is not all the way up to the eye. I wouldn't worry too much. They most likely plan to repeat the visual field to see if it was in the testing or you were having a bad day. If the change is consistent then they may look to make changes.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply.  What you say makes some sense.  The nurse doing the fields did try to position my head so as to make my neck more comfortable.  May be that is why.  I certainly found it hard on my eyes that particular day.  Anyway when I go back if there is still a problem no doubt they will make changes to my treatment.
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  • Posted

    Maybe it really is nothing and maybe it's okay to see the doc in 8 months, but I don't like feeling that a doctor is too busy to answer a question.  Can you email her/him?

    Pressure is not the only factor to consider.  People can have stable pressure and still lose vision, not only as a result of glaucoma damage but also as a result of worsening cataracts, and other variables.

    As K51095 points out, visual fields tests are subjective and affected by many variables like your neck discomfort, or arthritis in your fingers that can slow the response time.  Visual fields defects need to be repeatable, with some doctors requiring 3 consecutive tests before they will confirm progression. 

    That leads me back to my original suggestion: if there was something worrisome in your most recent test, shouldn't the doctor explain why they shouldn't retest you sooner rather than after 8 months?

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