ZocdocAnswersWhat is pigment dispersion syndrome?

Question

What is pigment dispersion syndrome?

I know that my father (we're not in touch anymore) had pigment dispersion syndrome, because I have it written down. Now I'm trying to figure out what this means for my eyes. Am I at special risk of having a problem like that? What causes pigment dispersion sydrome and how serious is it?

Answer

Pigment dispersion syndrome is a relatively common condition, particularly in men of Caucasian descent. Basically what happens in pigment dispersion syndrome is that pigmented particles from the iris (the colored portion of the eye) flake off through mechanical rubbing and float around in the liquid in the anterior chamber, or front part of the eye. This does not cause problems in and off itself, but sometimes the pigment particles float into the channels that drain fluid from the chamber and clog them up. This leads to a buildup of pressure in the chamber, or glaucoma. The pressure changes can be treated with medication as well as some forms of laser surgery. Some forms of pigment dispersion syndrome are inherited and the onset is relatively early in life. Therefore it is important for you to have regular eye examinations. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concerns will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your eye doctor is strongly recommended.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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