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What is Anterior Segment Disorder (ASD)?

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The anterior segment consists of the cornea, ciliary, iris, and lens. The anterior segment disorder occurs due to several reasons, including genetic causes and neurological abnormalities. 

One of the most common disorders that fall in the anterior segment disorder spectrum is Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome that affects the development of the eye. It is not a single disorder but a group of disorders that causes cornea and iris defects. 

Sources report that it can occur due to change in several genes and inheritance. However, it can be autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive.

Signs and Symptoms of Anterior Segment Disorder

Anterior segment disorders can lead to ocular morbidity. It can include eye infections, inflammatory reactions, hereditary diseases, and cataracts. Moreover, it can cause vision loss with or without pain.

The segment includes the vitreous gel, the retina, and the optic nerve. There are several diseases related to the anterior or posterior part with certain conditions. 

Common diseases include cornea size and transparency, iris color (heterochromia), shape, pupil size, position, and sensitivity to light. In addition, lens clarity and reaction to light are the most common signs. 

Other signs include:

  • Discomfort and burning sensation
  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Red, swollen and irritated eyes
  • Rough body sensation
  • Light sensitivity
  • Watery or scratchy eyes
  • Allergic Reaction

Treatment of Anterior Segment Disorder 

Typically, treatments are not the same for every case; they are different. If some people have a history of eye trauma and any damage to their lens or cornea, they can use contact lenses or glasses. In severe cases, they may require procedures or surgeries. 

In case of surgery, you may need to consult a retina specialist. It may include several procedures like vitrectomy (removing the vitreous) and repositioning. In addition, treatment can include removal or exchange of dislocated or damaged intraocular lenses and iris repairs. Your eye specialist or eye surgeon will guide you through further consultation if you have a complex case. 

Anterior Segment Surgery

A common way of treating its related diseases is “anterior segment surgery,” performed on the lens and iris. This surgery can be either natural or include synthetic intraocular lenses. 

Several conditions that can affect the iris or lens can get treated with surgical correction. When patients develop certain complications from previous cataract surgery, it is useful to deal with this condition. In this case, they may need to get another anterior segment surgery to improve outcomes. 

It also helps deal with specific eye problems like blurry vision and visual distortion. But even after surgery, some people face this problem to an extent. 

Anterior segment surgery can include cataract surgery that can vary depending on the severity level. In some conditions, it may be standard or complex. It also includes intraocular lens exchange after previous cataract surgery.


Anterior segment diseases have a wide range of causes, severity levels, and surgical treatments. You can consult your eye specialist to get the proper treatment depending on the severity level.

Written by Marley Jaxx

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