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By:  Dr. David R. Guyer

The affects of PXE on the eye is directly on the tissue in the back of the eye, the tissue directly underneath the retina which supports the retina. Cracks occur in a fine, glass-like membrane (very much like glass or lacquer cracks) and through those cracks grow abnormal blood vessels. The abnormal blood vessels are not good for the eyes. They proliferate, leak serum, and bleed, creating loss of vision wherever they appear. The major problem is when these blood vessels occur in the macula. The macula is the center part of vision which sees detail. It causes the same problems that occur with wet macular degeneration.

These abnormal blood vessels are called subretinal neovascularization or SRNV. An eye when leaking will lose its ability to see detail unless laser treatment is done promptly even though this treatment is does not guarantee that vision won’t be lost. In addition, if subretinal neovascularization occurs in one eye, there is about a one in ten chance per year that it will occur in the other eye. The earlier that SRNV can be discovered, the more likely that vision can be saved. In other words, pay close attention to your eyesight and see your eye doctor if there is any type of change in your vision.

By:  Dr. David R. Guyer 2:2 (October 1993)