Understanding Fuchs’ Dystrophy


You may have heard of Fuchs’ Dystrophy, but do you really know what it is? Here is everything you need to know about the eye disease, including ways to preserve your eye health.

What is Fuchs’ Dystrophy?

Fuchs’ Dystrophy causes the cornea, or the clear layer on the surface of your eye, to swell. When healthy, the cells on the inside of the cornea maintain a proper balance of fluids within the cornea and prevent inflammation. With Fuchs’ Dystrophy, these cells gradually die which causes a buildup of fluid (edema) within the cornea. The result is vision loss, especially in the morning and in low light conditions, and eye discomfort.

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Symptoms- Fuchs’ Dystrophy, which usually affects both eyes, can cause a number of symptoms. Vision may be blurred and is usually worse in the morning and improves throughout the day. There may be pain or a sense of grittiness on the surface of the eye. Other symptoms can include distorted vision and a sensitivity to light.

Causes- Smoking and diabetes increase the risk of Fuchs’ Dystrophy. The disease most commonly develops among people in their 30s and 40s, but symptoms do not show until after age 50 or even later. Women are slightly more likely than men to develop Fuchs’ dystrophy. A family history of Fuchs’ dystrophy increases the risk, although the genetic basis of the disease is complicated.

Treatment- There are various medications to relieve Fuchs’ Dystrophy symptoms and maintain eye health. When the disease has progressed, the only means to significantly recover vision is cornea transplant surgery.

Prevention- Regular eye examinations will ensure that early signs of Fuchs’ Dystrophy, or any other eye conditions, are noticed and addressed appropriately. Visit your doctor if you notice any of the above symptoms.

Ensure optimal eye health with regular care and exams! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

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