What is Pseudoexfoliation Syndrome?
This is a fairly common condition in which a deposit of white “sugar coating” is found on the surface of the lens as well as on other structures inside the eye. Its cause is unknown. In all likelihood the material comes from the blood stream and, for some strange reason, is only deposited in the tissues around and inside the eye. Pseudo-exfoliation usually affects both eyes, but may be asymmetrical.
“Pseudo” means “false”. There is a “true” form of exfoliation, which is a condition caused by exposure to intense heat. Exfoliation is most typically seen in glass blowers. Here the capsule of the lens becomes wrinkled and forms a cataract. The appearance of the sugar coating in pseudo-exfoliation is similar to this heat-induced cataract.
Pseudo-exfoliation is seen in all races and nationalities, although usually not before age 55. It is important to diagnose because of its association with two important ocular diseases, CATARACTS and GLAUCOMA.
75% of patients with Pseudo-exfoliation syndrome will eventually develop cataracts. There is nothing unusual about this type of cataract and, it should be managed as any other. Surgery is not necessary until symptoms begin to bother the patient. There is no increased risk with surgery, and most do very well with the operation.
Between 15 and 20% of patients with Pseudo-exfoliation will develop glaucoma over a 5-year period, as compared to 1.2% of the normal population. This disorder is somewhat more difficult to manage than the average case of glaucoma. Extra effort is needed in keeping a close eye on intraocular pressures, visual fields, and optic nerve changes. Often medicines must be supplemented with LASER treatments. Of all the types of glaucoma, happily Pseudo-exfoliation is the most amenable to LASER therapy.
Pseudo-exfoliation, by itself, is not a threat to vision. Rather, it is a “red flag” that tells us caution and careful follow-up are needed to insure continued good vision.
Do You Have Pseudo-exfoliation Syndrome?
The best way to find out exactly what?s causing your vision problems is to make an appointment with an eye care professional. At The Eye Centers of Racine and Kenosha, we will check your eyes thoroughly to understand the reasons for your vision problems. And we?ll explain your choices for correcting the problems.
Here at The Eye Centers of Racine & Kenosha we keep up to date on new research and new treatments. Call 262 637 0500 today! to scheduled your appointment.
Have a question? ASK US
Take your first step toward clearer vision.