Humphrey visual fields (30-2 program) were performed on 24 otherwise healthy patients before and after cataract extraction to examine the effect of cataract on automated visual fields. All patients met reliability index criteria and recovered visual acuity of 20/25 or better. The effect of learning associated with repeated testing was controlled with visual fields of the fellow eye. Although a greater absolute threshold recovery occurred in the central region of the visual field after cataract extraction, the percent of threshold recovery did not vary across the visual field except for the most peripheral testing points, which demonstrated less recovery. Thus, cataracts depress an automated visual field fairly uniformly. Clinical grading of cataracts by a single experienced clinician was generally a poor predictor of visual field loss. Only the presence of posterior subcapsular plaque in the visual axis and the preoperative visual acuity correlated significantly with postoperative central threshold recovery. Pattern standard deviation remained unchanged after cataract removal, confirming it as a useful way of estimating visual loss from cataracts.
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