Fuchs’ dystrophy is an eye disease that gradually progresses and can affect up to both eyes. This eye disease occurs more often in women, where one’s vision gradually worsens over many years. Similar to glaucoma, most people don’t even notice vision problems until they hit their mid-50s or 60s.
Although the development or cause of Fuchs’ Dystrophy isn’t quite understood, the disease affects the external layer of the cornea called the endothelium. Fuchs’ dystrophy emerges when the cells in the corneal endothelium start to deteriorate disrupting the balance of fluids on the cornea. The cornea relies on these fluids as a protective layer to prevent irritation, pollutants, or foreign objects from damaging the eye. However, in Fuchs’ Dystrophy, not only does the imbalance hamper in the protection around the eye, but the fluid can swell within the cornea, ultimately obscuring one’s vision. A person with this eye disease can also face other symptoms, such as:
- Blurry vision in the morning morning
- Distorted vision
- Sensitivity to light or glare
- Difficulty seeing at night
- May see lights or halos
- The cornea may develop small, painful blisters
While there are prescription eye drops or medications that can help reduce the swelling, in advanced cases of Fuch’s Dystrophy, an ophthalmologist may recommend a partial corneal transplant.