What is Exfoliative Glaucoma?
Also known as pseudoexfoliation, Exfoliative Glaucoma is a type of open-angle glaucoma.
What Causes Exfoliative Glaucoma?
Exfoliative glaucoma is caused by an abnormal accumulation of protein in the eye’s drainage system. The eye disease develops in approximately 50% of eyes with pseudoexfoliation syndrome (abbreviated as either PXF of PXE), which is commonly seen in older individuals and in certain racial groups, such as people from Russia, the Nordic countries, Greeks, Mediterranean populations, Indians, and more.. PXF is when you have the finding of exfoliation on the ledge without glaucoma damage. It is a warning sign of glaucoma (to learn more, check out our previous blog, “What is a Glaucoma Suspect”).
How is Exfoliative Glaucoma different from Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (POAG)?
POAG affects around one percent of all Americans (mainly those individuals age 50 or older), making it the most common form of glaucoma. And because this form of glaucoma develops slowly, it rarely ever presents any symptoms and often goes undetected without regular screenings. Unlike POAG, exfoliative glaucoma shows higher intraocular eye pressure (IOP), faster rates of progression, poor response to medical therapy, and increased need for surgical intervention.
How is Exfoliative Glaucoma Diagnosed?
The eye disease often requires a dilated eye exam to diagnose. Any individual over the age of 40 with a family history of exfoliative glaucoma or Northern European extraction should be most cautious, seeking biyearly eye exams.
How is Exfoliative Glaucoma Treated?
As we have already said, most patients show poor response to medical therapy, however, they tend to respond well to treatment by laser trabeculoplasty and most types of glaucoma surgery.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. If left untreated, glaucoma can and does lead to total blindness. Early detection and treatment, meanwhile, can save your sight. An ophthalmologist can usually detect those individuals who are at risk for glaucoma before nerve damage occurs.
Anne Arundel Eye Center
Specializing in glaucoma and cataracts, the Anne Arundel Eye Center offers complete ophthalmic exams as well as diagnostic pre and post-surgical eye care. If you have any questions about our blog, “What is Exfoliative Glaucoma?” please contact board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, consultative optometrists Dr. Nathan Frank and Dr. Corinne Casey, and the eye care specialists at the Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or visiting AnneArundelEyeCenter.com today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube as well!
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.
Exfoliative Glaucoma Glaucoma Research Foundation