Cornea Specialist Fountain Valley and Newport Beach California
Dr. Younger is a cornea specialist trained to manage cornea and external disease problems using advanced surgical techniques.
Fuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy
Fuchs’ dystrophy is an inherited condition that affects the fragile inner layer (endothelium) of the cornea which normally functions as a pump mechanism to keep the cornea clear. In Fuchs’ dystrophy, the endothelial cells degenerate more rapidly than normal aging, causing the cornea to become swollen. It progresses gradually and patients notice glare, light sensitivity, a sandy or gritty sensation, and a decrease in vision. The symptoms are greatest in the morning and may fluctuate. Also, In some individuals who undergo cataract surgery, the inner layer of the cornea is damaged by the surgical procedure or implanted lens. Treatment for the swollen cornea due to a poorly functioning inner layer includes temporary use of eye drops, with the definitive treatment being a partial corneal transplant.
In partial corneal transplants (descemet stripping endothelial keratoplasty, or DSEK), the surgeon removes the diseased back surface of the cornea through a small incision. The donor cornea is cut in order to separate the healthy back layer, which is inserted into the front part of the eye. An air bubble is then placed and pushes the donor tissue up against the back surface of the patient’s cornea. The eye’s natural pumping mechanism will attach the donor cornea as the air absorbs. DSEK is an advance in corneal transplantation that provides a better surgical option with less healing time, less astigmatism and less risk of rejection.