Fuchs’ dystrophy, also called Fuchs’ disease, is found within the cornea of the eye. Many people in their 30s and 40s may have Fuchs’ dystrophy but do not know it. Vision problems might not appear until age 50 or later. As Fuchs’ dystrophy is a relatively common condition affecting people, our eye surgeons in Kolkata have curated a list of important things you should know about the disease:
What is Fuchs’ Dystrophy?
Fuchs’ Dystrophy is a corneal disease. It occurs when endothelium cells in the corneal layer gradually die or do not work well. These cells are responsible for pumping the fluid and keeping the cornea clear. When these cells do not function well, fluid builds up and the cornea gets swollen, causing vision to get cloudy.
Symptoms of Fuchs’ Dystrophy
There are two stages of Fuchs’ dystrophy. The condition is progressive which means the symptoms worsen gradually.
First stage symptoms
- Vision may be blurry when in the morning but improve throughout the day.
Second stage symptoms
- The blurry vision will not get better as the day goes on.
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Seeing small dots, stars, or shapes throughout the day
- Eye swelling and pain
- Eye problems get worse in humid areas
- A gritty-like feeling in both eyes
Causes of Fuchs’ dystrophy
The condition is caused when endothelial cells in the cornea die. The precise cause of this cellular destruction is not known. The endothelial cells are responsible for balancing fluids in the cornea. Without them, the cornea swells because of the fluid buildup. As the cornea swells up, the vision is affected.
Who is at the risk of getting Fuchs’ dystrophy ?
- Fuchs’ dystrophy affects more women than men.
- Those with diabetes are also at a greater risk.
- Smoking is also a risk factor.
- Having a family history of Fuchs’ Dystrophy increases the risk.
How is Fuchs’ dystrophy diagnosed?
- Fuchs’ dystrophy is diagnosed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. During the eye exam, they’ll look for signs of changes in the cornea.
- To check the thickness of the cornea, the eye doctor may suggest a few tests including pachymetry. These tests will give the eye doctors images of the cornea. Using these images, the doctor will count the endothelial cells.
- An eye pressure test may also be suggested to rule out other eye diseases, such as glaucoma.
Fuchs’ dystrophy and cataracts
Some people can develop cataracts and have Fuchs’ Dystrophy. In this case, the person will need to undergo two types of surgeries at once: one for cataract removal and the other for a corneal transplant.
Treatment for Fuchs’ Dystrophy
- Eye drops or ointments: The early stage of Fuchs’ Dystrophy is treated with prescription eye drops or ointments.
- Corneal transplant: In case of significant corneal scarring, a transplant surgery may be done. There are two options
- Full corneal transplant: The damaged cornea will be replaced by the cornea of a donor.
- Endothelial keratoplasty: This involves transplanting endothelial cells in the cornea to replace the damaged ones.
Looking for an eye surgeon in Kolkata?
If you are looking for eye surgeons in Kolkata, visit our Disha Eye Hospitals. Our eye surgeons in Kolkata specialise in treating several eye conditions including glaucoma, corneal diseases, retinal conditions and cataract.