It is thought that due to the anatomy of the eye, there is some contact between the iris (the part of your eye that forms the pupil), and the lens and its associated structures, so that there may be chafing or rubbing during normal activities such as focusing the eyes in order to read.
There is also a possibility that vigorous exercise can cause increased pigment release. Thus some patients are advised to take medications to lower eye pressure prior to exercise or avoid exercise altogether. If you have PDS and are concerned about this, please speak to us before starting or stopping any exercise program.
The pigment that is released can deposit on various structures in the front of the eye, and eventually can clog the drainage system. Some people’s drainage systems do not have a problem handling this extra pigment, and these patients do not develop glaucoma. Other people’s drainage systems cannot handle this extra “load,” and eye pressure builds up or is deposited on the back of the cornea, the surfaces of the lens, and on the drainage meshwork eventually leading to the development of glaucoma. It is estimated that 30-35 percent of patients with pigment dispersion syndrome develop high eye pressure and/or glaucoma.
Normally, clear fluid which is secreted into the eye escapes via the drainage meshwork and returns to the bloodstream. Obstruction of this meshwork appears to account for the raised intraocular pressure, and pigmentary glaucoma behaves in general like primary open angle glaucoma not accompanied by the pigment disturbance.