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Pigmentary glaucoma
Pigment dispersion syndrome PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 13 January 2010 18:56

Pigment dispersion syndrome is associated with the development of glaucoma (known as pigmentary glaucoma). The lifetime risk of developing glaucoma in those affected by pigment dispersion syndrome has previously been recorded at around 50%. Pigment from the back of the iris is released into the front chamber of the eye and is deposited in various areas - onto the back of the cornea, and also onto the trabecular meshwork - the part of the eye that drains fluid out of the eye. Over many years, pigment dispersion within the eye can lead to elevated eye pressure, and this can lead to glaucoma. The reason why some people get pigment dispersion is that the shape of the iris tends to bow back towards the lens (that lies behind the iris). This concavity of the iris means that the pigment layer on the back of the iris can rub against the lens more readily. Performing an iridotomy (a tiny dot opening in the iris created by laser) is known to flatten the iris contour, presumably reducing pigment release. Laser is not performed in all cases. Another type of laser, laser trabeculoplasty is particularly effective in this condition.

To read a personal account of what it is like to have pigment dispersion with some excellent illustrations,

field loss in glaucoma

Example of visual field test showing field loss in glaucoma (black patches = lights not seen)

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2010 23:39