Treating Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy

A close up of an older person's diseased eyeFuchs' corneal dystrophy is a chronic corneal condition that typically affects both eyes and can worsen over time. Although the exact cause is unknown, it most often occurs in patients 50 years or older who have a genetic predisposition. The doctors at Broberg Eye Care can diagnose Fuchs' corneal dystrophy at our Austin, TX, practice after a comprehensive examination and will recommend an appropriate treatment option. 

What is Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy?

Fuchs' corneal dystrophy is caused when the innermost layer of cells in the cornea (the endothelium) degenerate in one or both eyes. The endothelium is responsible for maintaining proper vision by pumping out excess fluid in the cornea. When the endothelial cells diminish, the cornea will begin to swell and thicken. As the disease progresses, it can cause painful blisters and other serious side effects, such as blurred vision and even blindness. If caught early, this condition can be effectively treated.

Your condition can be easily detected through a series of tests during a comprehensive eye exam with one of our highly skilled and experienced doctors.

Signs and Symptoms of Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy

You should schedule an appointment with one of our skilled doctors right away if you experience any symptoms of Fuchs' corneal dystrophy, including:

  • Eye pain
  • Painful eye blisters
  • Blurred or foggy vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Seeing colored halos around light sources
  • A foreign body sensation in the eyes
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Poor vision upon awakening that improves during the day

How to Treat Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy

Your condition can be easily detected through a series of tests during a comprehensive eye exam with one of our highly skilled and experienced doctors. Your doctor will measure the thickness of the cornea and look for abnormalities in the endothelial cells using high magnification and a slit lamp, a tool that shines a thin sheet of light into the eye. Testing often includes a simple visual acuity test using a traditional eye chart. The severity of your condition will determine the type of treatment prescribed. We will always recommend the most conservative treatment possible to restore your vision.

In the earliest stages of Fuchs' corneal dystrophy, your doctor may recommend a series of medicated eye drops to remove excess water from the cornea and reduce eye pressure. For advanced cases, a corneal transplant may be necessary to prevent total loss of vision. This involves removing the damaged cornea and replacing it with healthy cornea tissue from a donor. Securing donor cornea tissue is a relatively simple process since the patient does not need to share a blood type with the donor. After treatment, follow-up visits will be required to ensure you are recovering properly.

Do I Have Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of Fuchs' corneal dystrophy, please contact our office today. At Broberg Eye Care, one of our personable and experienced doctors will provide you with the quality care you deserve to alleviate your discomfort and effectively restore your vision.

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