Pseudoexfoliation Glaucoma

What is it?

It is a condition in which flaky material deposits in multiple tissues within the body. Within the eye, these can deposit at the pupil margin, on the lens and in the drainage system.  When the draining system is clogged, intraocular pressure can rise and cause glaucoma.

Risk Factors?

  • Increasing Age
  • Certain Racial groups – Scandinavia, Russia, Mediterranean populations. Interestingly a large proportion of glaucoma patients in the South-east present with PXF. This probably relates to our Viking heritage!
  • Genetics – LOX1 gene
  • Approximately half of patients with pseudoexfoliation will eventually develop glaucoma.

Unique Features

Patients with PXF tend to have higher pressure spikes than Primary Open Angle Glaucoma and it can be more difficult to control. Consequently it tends to be associated with worse visual field loss and optic nerve damage. Patients with this disease usually require a more aggressive approach to treatment and are more likely to need laser or surgery.

Pseudoexfoliation tends to cause a weakening of the zonules (supporting structures holding the lens in place) and thus there is an increased risk of complications during cataract surgery. However your surgeon will take extra precautions to avoid these.

Prevention

As most types of glaucoma are asymptomatic until late in the disease course, it is important to attend regular eye checks (every two years from the age of 40).