Fuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy isn’t a very well-known eye disease, and our Tustin eye doctors will explain that only about 1% of people have it. When it’s diagnosed, however, it does need to be monitored properly. With Fuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy, the cells in the inner layer of your cornea, called the “endothelium”, start dying off. Also known as Endothelial Dystrophy, these cells pump the water out of the eye, and the cornea fills up with water and swells. Sometimes the water builds up inside so much that it must explode out of the eye in the form of painful cornea blisters. Referred to as the “window” of the eye, your cornea adjusts the light, so the more advanced the Fuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy, the blurrier and more unclear your vision will be.
Fuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy is a genetic disease and with this kind of gene, every child born from a parent carrying the disease has a 50% chance of getting the Fuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy gene, and a 50% chance of getting a normal gene and not developing Fuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy. It’s very common that the disease had never progressed to the point where it was diagnosed in your parents, or, perhaps they had an eye doctor who never looked for it. The equipment that is now used by our Tustin eye doctors to detect Fuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy also wasn’t very common in eye doctor’s offices many years ago. Since it’s genetic, any siblings or children should be checked over on a yearly basis to see if it’s been inherited.
The only real cure for the disease is a cornea transplant. You can get temporary relief under the care of an eye professional, using muro eyedrops, if the disease hasn’t advanced too far. It’s possible that it will never progress very far, but it will never go away by itself. In some cases seen by our Tustin eye doctors, Fuch’s Corneal Dystrophy will progress to the point where painful blisters will burst on the surface of the cornea which causes scarring the tissue. The time to get a cornea transplant when suffering from Fuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy is as soon as the symptoms start to affect your daily life. Since the healing process takes quite a bit of time, you don’t want to wait until you can’t depend on having good vision in the eye that isn’t having the transplant. Our Tustin eye doctors at Orange Coast Eye Center will monitor your case and symptoms to guide you appropriately.