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What is Fuchs’ Dystrophy?

Fuchs’ Dystrophy is a progressive eye disease of the cornea. It occurs when the endothelial cells that pump fluid away from the cornea to keep it clear die off. The long-term effects of Fuchs’ Dystrophy are corneal swelling, scarring, and vision loss.

Fuchs’ Dystrophy usually begins in your thirties. Most people don’t notice these symptoms until their fifties. It’s often more common in women than men. You’re more likely to develop Fuchs’ dystrophy if you have a family history of it. Fuchs’ Dystrophy occurs in both eyes at the same time.

In the early stages, the disease causes bumps to form on the cornea. You may notice that your vision is hazy in the morning but improves throughout the day. In later stages, you may notice that your vision no longer clears up and is now accompanied by eye pain. People in the later stages of Fuchs’ Dystrophy often report that it feels like they have a grain of sand in their eye. It’s also common for bright lights to feel painful, or for halos to appear around headlights. This is most likely to occur while driving at night.

Initially, prescription eye drops, and ointment can help with pain and gritty feelings. Soft contact lenses may also be used when appropriate. As the disease progresses, eye surgery may become necessary to preserve vision. There are a variety of procedures that may be performed, depending on the progression.

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