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Lens-induced glaucomas

Lens-induced glaucomas are a group of conditions that can occur when the lens of the eye becomes displaced or disrupted, leading to an elevation in intraocular pressure (IOP) and optic nerve damage. There are three types of lens-induced glaucoma: phacolytic glaucoma, lens particle glaucoma, and phacoantigenic glaucoma.

  • Phacolytic glaucoma occurs when a hypermature cataract leaks lens proteins into the anterior chamber, leading to an inflammatory response that blocks the trabecular meshwork and increases IOP. This type of glaucoma typically occurs in older patients with mature or hypermature cataracts.


  • Lens particle glaucoma occurs when there is disruption of the lens capsule, leading to the release of lens material into the anterior chamber. The lens material can block the trabecular meshwork and increase IOP, leading to optic nerve damage. This type of glaucoma is typically seen in younger patients with a history of ocular trauma or prior intraocular surgery.


  • Phacoantigenic glaucoma is a rare type of glaucoma that can occur following cataract surgery. It is thought to be caused by an immune response to lens proteins that are released into the anterior chamber during the surgical procedure. This immune response can cause inflammation and scarring of the trabecular meshwork, leading to an increase in IOP. Phacoantigenic glaucoma typically occurs within 2-8 weeks after cataract surgery and can be difficult to manage.

Each of these types of lens-induced glaucoma has its own distinct clinical characteristics and risk factors that ophthalmologists should be aware of in order to provide appropriate care and treatment for their patients.