Fuch's Dystrophy

Fuch's Dystrophy is a dominantly inherited condition affecting the cornea. Statistically, half of the members of a family may be affected; however, the expression of severity is variable and visual acuity may or may not be disturbed. Fuch's Dystrophy is the leading cause for corneal transplantation.

Women are more commonly affected than men. Fuch's Dystrophy becomes apparent only after the fifth decade of life, gradually getting worse with age.

For patients with Fuch's Dystrophy, combining cataract surgery with corneal transplantation may be necessary.

Your eye care professional can determine if you have Fuch's Dystrophy by using an optical microscope called a slit lamp.

Early on in the disease process, patients with Fuch's Dystrophy may have relatively good visual acuity-but notice blurring of vision in the morning hours with vision improving as the day progresses. Corneal evaporation is prevented during sleep when the eyelids are closed and corneal edema becomes worse the longer the eyes are closed.

Treatment of Fuch's Dystrophy

Treatment of Fuch's Dystrophy becomes necessary only when the vision becomes blurred to the extent that the patient is having trouble seeing. Concentrated saltwater eye drops can dehydrate the cornea and improve vision in the early stages. Blowing dry dehumidified air across the cornea with a hair dryer can sometimes help. If corneal blisters develop, soft bandage contact lenses can provide some pain relief. Eventually, corneal transplantation surgery may be required to restore vision in patients with severe Fuch's Dystrophy.

Fuch's Dystrophy is the leading cause of corneal transplantation.

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