Fuch’s Dystrophy

What is Fuchs’ Dystrophy?

Fuchs’ dystrophy is a progressive condition of the posterior cornea that typically affects individuals later in their life. Individuals are typically first affected in their 40s or 50s, however, although signs may be seen be earlier or later. Fuchs’ dystrophy is characterized by a gradual loss of endothelial cells and is the back layer of the cornea. These cells are very important for keeping the cornea clear and when too many of these cells are lost, the cornea swells and becomes cloudy, resulting in vision loss.

What Are the Symptoms of Fuchs’ Dystrophy?

The Symptoms of Fuchs’ Dystrophy Include:

  • Blurred vision, worse in morning
  • Halos
  • Glare
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Problems with reading

What is the Treatment Of Fuchs’ Dystrophy?

Treatment of Fuchs’ dystrophy typically first involves steps to try to decrease the swelling in the cornea, typically by special hypertonic saline drops or ointment. If the Fuchs’ dystrophy becomes advanced enough and vision is severely affected, surgery may be required in the form of a cornea transplant. When transplants were first performed on this condition, it involved taking off full-thickness of the cornea and transplanting it with another full-thickness donor cornea with up to 16 more or more stitches. However, our cornea surgeons at Raleigh Ophthalmology are trained in DSEK, which involves transplanting only the bottom layers of the cornea, which targets just the diseased endothelial cells, leaving the rest of the cornea intact. With DSEK, patients typically enjoy faster visual recovery with less discomfort than with traditional keratoplasty.

To learn more about the benefits of DSEK, click here.