“Fuch’s Dystrophy is a slowly progressive disease of the cornea that is typically bilateral and is slightly more common in women than men”, commented Galveston and Houston Ophthalmologist Bernard Milstein, M.D. “While it is possible to observe Fuch’s Dystrophy in people in their 30’s and 40’s, it usually does not compromise vision until people are in their 50’s or 60’s.” While a precise path of genetic transmission is unclear, a familial predisposition seems to exist among those who are first degree relatives. Early in the course of Fuch’s Dystrophy patients typically awaken with blurry vision that gets progressively clearer as the day passes. This phenomenon occurs because the cornea normally swells during sleep.
A healthy endothelial pump is necessary in order to restore the cornea to a normal thickness. In Fuch’s Dystrophy, the endothelium removes fluid from the cornea less efficiently. As the Fuch’s Dystrophy disease worsens, the vision does not clear. Usually we will attempt to help reduce the corneal swelling each day by prescribing hypertonic eye drops and ointments. However, when these measures fail to provide comfort and clear vision, it may be necessary to have a corneal transplant. In general, corneal transplantation is used in order to replace diseased, damaged or scarred corneal tissue with new healthy corneal tissue. Since damaged or scarred corneal tissue impairs effective passage of light into the eye and may distort or degrade the quality of images that reach the retina, poor vision and even blindness may result from a damaged cornea. There are actually a number of different types of corneal transplants that we can consider for Fuch’s Dystrophy.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about Fuch’s dystrophy please call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texasor facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.
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