What is Fuchs’ dystrophy?
Fuchs’ dystrophy is a disease of the cornea. Fuchs’ dystrophy is when cells in the corneal layer called endothelium gradually die. These cells normally pump fluid from the cornea to keep it clean. When they die, fluid builds up and the cornea swells. Vision becomes cloudy or fuzzy.
Fuchs’ dystrophy has two stages. In the initial stage (stage 1), vision is often hazy in the morning. With the last stage 2, the vision remains blurry all day.
People in their 30s and 40s can have Fuchs’ dystrophy, but don’t know it. Vision difficulties may not appear until age 50 or older. Women are more possible than men to have Fuchs’ dystrophy. A family history of Fuchs’ dystrophy also increases the risk of developing it.
What are the symptoms of Fuchs’ dystrophy?
There are two stages of Fuchs’ dystrophy. This type of corneal dystrophy can be progressive, so you may experience a gradual worsening of symptoms.
In the first stage, you may have blurred vision that is worse upon waking due to fluid that collects on the cornea while you sleep. You may also have a hard time seeing in low light.
The second stage causes more noticeable symptoms because fluid buildup or swelling does not improve during the day. As Fuchs’ dystrophy progresses, you may experience:
- Sensitivity to light
- Cloudy vision
- Night vision problems
- Inability to drive at night
- Pain in your eyes
- A gritty feeling in both eyes
- Low vision in wet weather
The appearance of halo-shaped circles around lights, especially at night, also, Fuchs’ dystrophy can cause some physical symptoms that other people might see in their eyes. These include blisters and clouding of the cornea. Sometimes corneal blisters can burst and cause more pain and discomfort.
What causes Fuchs’ dystrophy?
It can have a genetic cause, but it can also happen disadvantaged of a prior family history of the disease. In many cases, the cause is unidentified.
Fuchs’ dystrophy diagnosis
Your doctor may first notice the disease during a routine eye exam when using a special microscope called a slit lamp. This lets them see the innermost layer of your cornea. They can also see small bumps on the cornea which are a telltale sign of Fuchs.
Your doctor may monitor your eye pressure to rule out glaucoma, which increases eye pressure and can cause you to see halos. They will then measure the thickness of your cornea.
What are the treatment options for Fuchs’ dystrophy?
When you start to experience symptoms, your doctor may recommend a special saline solution that helps draw fluid from the cornea to provide clearer vision. As the Fuchs progresses, your vision will eventually remain blurry longer during the day, and eventually, it may not clear at all. At that point, a corneal transplant can restore your vision.
In the past, there was only one selection for transplants, called penetrating keratoplasty (PK), which involves surgical elimination of the central two-thirds of the damaged cornea. It is then replaced with healthy donor tissue. New tissue is typically held in place by many sutures, 16 would be an average number, although it varies by the surgeon.
Full-thickness transplantation has the potential to provide clear vision after healing; however, the healing time may be longer than a year, and in some cases, the sutures may never be removed. The recipient must take care of the eye to make sure the wound does not break, even many years after a transplant. Since 20 per cent of PK grafts are rejected, many patients require more than one surgery.
Risk factors for Fuchs’ dystrophy
Factors that increase your risk of emerging this include:
- Gender: Fuchs’ dystrophy is more shared in women than in men.
- Genetics: Having a family history of Fuchs’ dystrophy rises your possibility.
- Years: Although there is a rare type of early-onset Fuchs dystrophy that begins in childhood, the disease usually begins in the 30s and 40s, with symptoms developing thereafter.
Lifestyle and home remedies
In addition to following your doctor’s care instructions, you can try these techniques to help reduce glare or calm your eyes. Apply an over-the-counter (non-prescription) saline solution (5% sodium chloride) eye drops or ointment.
Dry your eyes with a hairdryer. Hold him at arm’s length and blow warm, not hot, air across his face, especially in the morning when the swelling is worst. This helps to remove excess fluid from the cornea, which reduces swelling.
Precautions of Fuchs’ dystrophy
If you have been diagnosed with Fuchs corneal dystrophy, be sure to deliberate it with your ophthalmologist if you are seeing LASIK or other refractive surgery or if you have cataracts and need cataract surgery. These eye surgeries can deteriorate the condition and corneal dystrophy is often careful a contraindication to elective refractive surgery.