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Dry Eye Symptom Severity and Visual Field Reliability Metrics.

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Tracking failure frequency (TFF) increases with dry eye symptom severity and in the left eye.


Symptoms of dry eye disease are commonly encountered in glaucoma patients and can be exacerbated by topical glaucoma medications. Dry eye disease may influence the reliability of visual field (VF) tests and impact the accurate interpretation of the results.

Patients and methods

Patients at the Veterans Administration Medical Center San Diego completed the 5-item Dry Eye Questionnaire before VF testing between December 2018 and February 2019. VF reliability metrics were recorded for each patient. Standard reliability metrics included fixation losses, false positive, and false negative rates. Gaze tracking (GT) metrics included percent of stimuli with gaze deviations between 1 and 2 degrees, 3 and 5 degrees, 6 degrees or greater, and percent of stimuli with tracking failure (TFF). The use of glaucoma medications and artificial tears was also recorded.


A total of 494 patients completed the 5-item Dry Eye Questionnaire and VF testing. There was no association between dry eye symptom severity and standard reliability metrics or most GT metrics. However, TFF increased as dry eye symptom severity increased (P=0.015). TFF was also greater in the left eye, which was tested second (P=0.012); no other reliability metrics were related to laterality. Patients were more likely to use artificial tears with increased dry eye symptom severity (P<0.001), but there was no relationship between symptom severity and glaucoma medication use.


Dry eye symptom severity may influence the acceptable range or threshold of TFF when using GT metrics to determine VF reliability. Likewise, the acceptable range or threshold for TFF may be different between eyes.

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