What Is Pseudoexfoliation Syndrome?
Pseudoexfoliation syndrome (or PXF, also sometimes called Exfoliation Syndrome) is when tiny flakes of dandruff-like material build up in the body.
These microscopic clumps of protein fibers are produced throughout the body and are found in the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, and eye. But this material has only been proven to cause harm inside the eye, where it increases the risk for glaucoma. PXF also worsens cataracts and can make cataract surgery more difficult.
Over time, this material can build up in the drainage angle, between the iris and cornea. This raises pressure inside the eye (called intraocular pressure, or IOP) and can damage the optic nerve. This is called pseudoexfoliation glaucoma (PXF glaucoma) and can lead to loss of vision.
What Causes PXF?
Doctors do not know for sure why people get PXF. Most think there are both genetic (passed down in families) and environmental causes (caused by something in the environment). PXF is rare in people younger than 50. This points to age-related changes in the tissues of the eye, which is true of many eye diseases.