Visual Fields Refine Understanding of Diabetic Retinopathy Progression

  1. Thomas W. Gardner2
  1. 1MacuLogix, Inc., Hummelstown, PA
  2. 2Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan School of Medicine, Ann Arbor, MI
  1. Corresponding author: Gregory R. Jackson, gjackson{at}

Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in developed countries. Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy have been shown to negatively impact almost every aspect of visual function from letter acuity to night vision. Although numerous studies have been published, few studies have described the natural history of the visual function abnormalities associated with this disease. In this issue, Hellgren et al. (1) provide one of the first natural history descriptions of early visual function abnormalities in patients with early-stage diabetic retinopathy. The investigators measured the visual field sensitivity of patients with diabetes both with and without mild to moderate diabetic retinopathy, as defined by retinal vascular lesions. The visual field technique used in this study is the standard method for quantification of visual field sensitivity. It is routinely used for detection of defects from glaucoma or neurologic disease. Moreover, it is widely available in clinicians’ offices, so the data are immediately applicable to practice.

Visual field sensitivity is the ability to detect a dim white spot …

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