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Fuchs' Dystrophy

What is Fuchs' Dystrophy?

Fuchs' dystrophy is an inherited condition that affects the inner layer of the the cornea. The inner layer functions as a pump mechanism, constantly removing fluids from the cornea to maintain its clarity.  As Fuchs' dystrophy worsens, patients will loose the cells that make up the inner layer of the cornea.  Once lost, the cells do not grow back.

Fuchs' dystrophy usually affects both eyes.

Symptoms of Fuchs' Dystrophy

Early symptoms of of Fuchs' dystrophy begin to appear in people in their 30s and 40s. However, Fuchs' dystrophy usually doesn't affect vision until people reach their 50s and 60s.

Some common symptoms of Fuchs' dystrophy are:

  • eye pain
  • blurred vision that gradually clears during the day
  • glare
  • sensitivity to light
  • tiny blisters on the corneal surface
  • sandy, gritty sensation in the eyes

Can Fuchs' Dystrophy be Treated?

Yes. Treatment is aimed at reducing the swelling and controlling blurred vision. Eye drops, ointments and soft contact lenses may be prescribed to reduce the swelling. In severe cases, corneal transplantation surgery may be required to restore vision. Fuchs' Dystrophy is the leading cause of corneal transplantation.

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