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Lens-Particle Glaucoma

Lens-Particle Glaucoma Quick Overview

  • Lens-particle glaucoma is a type of glaucoma that can develop following leakage of material from within the eye's lens.
  • Lens-particle glaucoma may be caused by inflammation, trauma, or surgery.
  • An ophthalmologist is a specialist who can diagnose and treat lens-particle glaucoma.
  • Treatment of lens-particle glaucoma may include eyedrops to control eye pressure and inflammation.

What Is Lens-Particle Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is progressive damage to the optic nerve, usually as a result of elevated eye pressure. The optic nerve receives visual information from the eye and transmits it to the brain.

Lens-particle glaucoma is a type of glaucoma that can develop following leakage of material from within the eye's lens.

The pressure with the eye can rise if the fluid flow within the eye is interrupted. A clear fluid called aqueous is continuously being produced within the eye, providing nutrients and carrying away waste. This fluid flows around the lens and out through drainage channels called the 'trabecular meshwork.' Lens-particle glaucoma occurs when bits of lens material are released into the aqueous (following surgery or trauma, as described below) and become trapped within the trabecular meshwork. The accumulation of this material in the meshwork results in blockage of the normal outflow of aqueous fluid. The eye pressure becomes elevated, putting the optic nerve at risk for glaucoma damage.

What Causes Lens-Particle Glaucoma?

Patient Comments

The lens of the eye is made up of proteins and other material confined within an outer capsule. If the capsule is torn following a trauma, the material within the lens can escape into the aqueous fluid.

Loose lens material can also be present following a cataract surgery. The lenses gradually become cloudy with age to cause cataracts. When a cataract is interfering with vision, an ophthalmologist can improve vision by surgically removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a clear lens implant. In some instances, the surgeon may not be able to remove all of the lens material and small bits remain behind following surgery. Retained lens particles can also be released into the aqueous after YAG capsulotomy, a laser procedure often performed months after cataract surgery.

Whether by trauma or surgery, when the lens particles are loose in the eye, two things can occur. First, the lens particles may clog the trabecular meshwork. Second, cells called macrophages enter the eye to clear out the lens debris and the cells themselves can clog the trabecular meshwork to cause glaucoma.

If the combined lens particles and macrophages produce only a minor and temporary blockage of the trabecular meshwork, the eye pressure rise might be insignificant. However, if there is more extensive or prolonged blockage, eye pressures might rise to a level that puts the optic nerve at high risk from damage from glaucoma. Lens-particle glaucoma is distinct from other lens-induced or lens-related glaucomas such as pupillary block, phacomorphic glaucoma, and phacolytic glaucoma.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/17/2017

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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Lens-Particle Glaucoma:

Lens-Particle Glaucoma - Symptoms

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Lens-Particle Glaucoma - Surgical After-care

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Glaucoma, Lens-Particle »

Lens-particle glaucoma, a subclassification of lens-induced glaucoma,1, 2, 3, 4, 5 is a type of secondary open-angle glaucoma involving intraocular retention of fragmented lens debris.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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