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Professor Sung Kyung-rim of the department of ophthalmology discovers glaucoma patients have more pain and visual field defect as concern is greater
Date : 2016.08.30

Identifying the relevance of patients’ psychological state to glaucoma prognosis

 

 

A research team led by Professor Sung Kyung-rim of the department of ophthalmology announced the study result that glaucoma patients have more pain in the eyeballs and a narrower visual field.

Glaucoma that leads to blindness as the optic nerve is injured by increased intraocular pressure and a visual field is narrowed, is an incurable disease so that it is essential to make efforts to maintain the current state. The research team analyzed the relevance of patients’ personality and social and economic factors with the quality of life and found that patients’ negative mentality affects the health of eyes and the quality of life.

The research team conducted a survey of 907 patients who were diagnosed with glaucoma or suspected of glaucoma between July of 2014 and May of 2015, and analyzed the findings. As a result of measuring a correlation coefficient (CC)*, glaucoma patients tend to be less satisfied with life as they worry too much (CC – 0.861). Especially these patients had severer pain in the eyeballs (CC 0.793) and a narrower visual field, causing discomfort in everyday life.

Younger patients felt more discomfort in everyday life, for instance complaining that they cannot see the near. It was because they felt insecure about prolonged treatment since glaucoma is an intractable chronic disease. Daily life satisfaction of glaucoma patients was also known to be associated with their educational levels.

Professor Sung Kyung-rim (photo) said, “This study discovered that Korean glaucoma patients’ quality of life declined due to psychological factors such as worry and anxiety caused by a narrowing of visual field. Since severe pain and narrowed visual field affected the quality of patients’ life and their will to recover, patients need to regularly visit hospital and receive continuous treatment to manage stress and have psychological stability in order to prevent aggravation of symptoms.

This study was organized by the Korean Glaucoma Society and the study result was recently presented at the European Glaucoma Society (EGS) Congress. This was the first multicenter research in Korea, which investigated the quality of glaucoma patients by cooperation of ten hospitals including AMC, SNU Hospital, Severance Hospital, and Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital.

 

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