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Pigment Dispersion Syndrome

 

The photo below shows Pigment Dispersion Syndrome.

Tracy Armstrong - Pigment Dispersion Image

In this photo, the loose pigment can be seen as the dark line at the bottom of the iris. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Pigment Dispersion Syndrome is usually detected during routine eye examinations. An early indication that PDS is present is the observation of a Krukenberg Spindle in the eye.

Pigment Dispersion Syndrome occurs when flakes of the coloured part of the eye, the iris, detach from the back of the iris and float freely in the liquid in the eye (the aqueous humor). This, in itself, wouldn't cause problems; however, if these flakes make their way to the drainage channel in the eye, they can block or damage the meshwork covering the channel and cause the pressure in the eye (the IOP, or intra-ocular pressure) to rise, damaging the optic nerve. This can lead to Pigmentary Glaucoma.

Not everyone with PDS will get Pigmentary Glaucoma. Regular eye examinations and medication can prevent the onset of glaucoma. Eye drops such as Latanoprost (Xalatan), used once a day (usually at night) are prescribed to lower the pressure in the eye. Laser treatment to break up the larger particles of pigmentation can prevent the drainage channel becoming blocked and/or the IOP rising. An operation to create a new drainage channel is also available.

It seems unclear as to why PDS occurs in some people and not others. Some schools of thought believe that PDS is genetic, passed on through a faulty gene(s). Others believe that the shape of the iris itself is a contributory factor.

It seems that two thirds of patients diagnosed with PDS are myopic (short-sighted). One third of those diagnosed are hyperopic (long-sighted) or emmetropic (no need to wear glasses for distance). There may be other factors, as yet undiscovered, that link those diagnosed with this syndrome.

 

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