Understanding Your Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy And Its Treatments


When you notice that your vision just does not seem as clear as it should be or you have a cloudy or white cornea, you may come to find out that you are suffering from a condition known as Fuchs endothelial dystrophy. While this may not be a familiar condition, the good news is that it is treatable. Get to know more about Fuchs endothelial dystrophy and some of the ophthalmology treatments available to you to deal with this condition so you know what to expect moving forward. 

What Is Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy?

Fuchs endothelial dystrophy is an eye condition that affects the corneas of the eye. Your corneas are the front, outer layer of your eyes. When Fuchs endothelial dystrophy occurs, the affected person has deposits known as guttae that accumulate on the cornea.

The guttae that accumulate can be seen when a person gets a routine eye exam at an eye doctor. However, the first signs of Fuchs endothelial dystrophy are actually usually the symptoms that the person experiences. Blurry or fuzzy vision is a common first indicator that a person has this condition, especially if that blurriness is worse early in the day and clears up somewhat later in the day.

Eventually, the vision becomes more affected and a person's visual acuity, or the sharpness of their vision, is greatly reduced. The guttae can also burst, causing a great deal of pain and discomfort in the eye as well as vision problems.

What Are Some Non-Surgical Options For Treatment?

There are non-surgical ways to manage and treat Fuchs endothelial dystrophy. Most of these non-surgical methods of treatment attempt to dry out the cornea, making it a less habitable environment for the guttae deposits.

This can be done with eye drops as well as ointments. Diluted sodium chloride drops are a commonly used option to manage the vision disturbances of Fuchs endothelial dystrophy. Additionally, if you have inflammation, pain, or discomfort, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also be taken. These medication regimens continue until they are no longer effective at managing vision loss and discomfort.

What Are The Surgical Treatment Options?

There are two types of surgery that can be performed to help treat your Fuchs endothelial dystrophy. They are both forms of a surgery known as keratoplasty.

There is the full keratoplasty surgery in which the entire cornea is removed and replaced with a corneal transplant. The full keratoplasty surgery is often performed on patients who have other eye conditions as well as Fuchs endothelial dystrophy. For example, if a patient also has cataracts or glaucoma, removing the entire cornea makes more sense than only removing a specific layer of it.

On the other hand, if Fuchs endothelial dystrophy is the only eye issue you suffer from you could elect for a descemet stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK) surgery. In this procedure, only the endothelial layer of your cornea is stripped away and replaced. This procedure generally elicits better results for the patient, especially in their visual acuity. However, your ophthalmologist will assess your eye health before committing to either surgical option to ensure you get the best care possible.

Now that you know more about your Fuchs endothelial dystrophy and the treatments available for it, you can be sure that you are prepared for what is to come and take the best possible care of your eyes going forward. Talk to an eye doctor, like those at Discover Vision Centers, to learn more.


3 June 2016

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