Which is Worse: Glaucoma or Macular Degeneration?

Degenerative eye disease can significantly reduce your quality of life. Reduced vision can rob you of the independence that allows you to take part in the activities that you enjoy like driving, reading and caring for your home. Two common conditions that can cause blind spots or blindness are age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).

A new study published in the journal Eye analyzes whether patients with AMD or POAG suffer more than the other. Researchers grouped individuals based on age, gender and visual acuity and evaluated the groups for contrast sensitivity and quality of life. The scores were converted to fit a 0 to 100 scale, and some of the findings were as follows:

  • Average scores for AMD and POAG were similar—84.66 and 86.44, respectively
  • The highest scores were in the “vision-related dependency” subgroup in POAG and “color and peripheral vision” in AMD group.
  • The lowest scores were found “in peripheral vision” in both AMD and POAG patients
  • POAG patients had much lower scores in ocular pain, color vision and peripheral vision
  • AMD patients had much lower scores in near and distance vision activities, vision-related social activity and dependency

The researchers concluded that AMD and POAG patients who have similar visual acuity also have similar quality of life impairment. There is more variation when looking at subgroups, but both eye diseases have a significant impact on daily activities and overall life satisfaction (Source: HCP Live).


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