The association between the quality of life and the retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in patients with glaucoma

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Muhammed Alluwimi
Dr. Mansour Alghamdi
Dr. Ahmad Almazroa
Dr. Ali Almustaneir


Glaucoma, Quality of life, Visual Function Questionnaire-25, Retinal nerve fiber layer thickness, global thickness, Superior and Inferior RNFL thickness


Research found associations between quality of life (QoL) scores, structural and functional measurements in glaucoma. However, structural associations with QoL only used global retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness in which individual sectors may demonstrate more RNFL thickness loss than the global thickness. We aimed to evaluate the QoL in glaucoma patients and its association with global, superior and inferior RNFL thicknesses. We recruited 30 glaucoma patients to conduct a self-report questionnaire to assess their QoL. We also evaluated the association between the questionnaire scores and the global, superior and inferior RNFL thicknesses as we retrospectively analyzed them in patients and in age-similar controls. Because the QoL reduction was in percentages, we converted the RNFL thickness loss to percentages, as compared to 30 healthy participants. We found that the most affected category of the QoL by glaucoma was role difficulties (44.73% loss) while the least was color vision (10% loss). The strongest association was between the QoL scores and global RNFL thickness (R2 = 0.34), followed by the association with the inferior sector (R2 = 0.28). We demonstrated the glaucoma effect on the QoL, indicating that early and accurate diagnosis should be potentially implemented to reduce the consequences of glaucoma. We also showed that global and inferior RNFL thicknesses may help understand the association between the QoL scores and the RNFL thickness. 

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