Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy
The Dr says you've got it... but nobody you know has ever heard of it before. When you look at your eyes they look perfectly normal. There are a lot of questions running through your mind right now. Questions like these:
So, what on earth IS Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy? The dr. says it's an eye DISEASE.
Fuchs' Dystrophy isn't well-known, since only about 1% of people have it, and you and I were a couple of the "lucky" ones! Yes, it's an eye DISEASE, and needs to be monitored accordingly. When you have fuchs' dystrophy the cells in an inner layer of the cornea called the "endothelium" start dying off (sometimes this disease is called "Endothelial Dystrophy"). Since these cells pump the water out of the eye, the cornea fills up with water and swells. The cornea is the "window" of the eye, and assimilates the light, so the more advanced the fuchs' dystrophy is the blurrier and more indistinct your vision will be.
Fuchs' Dystrophy begins when "guttata" forms in the endothelium. Then it starts creating edema (swelling) in the cornea due to the water building up in it. Sometimes the water builds up inside so much that it must explode out of the eye in the form of painful cornea blisters.
Where did I get this from?
Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy is a genetic, autosomal dominant disease with high penetrance. That means you got it from a parent. With this kind of gene each child born from a parent carrying the disease has a 50% chance of getting the Fuchs' Dystrophy gene, and a 50% chance of getting a normal gene and NOT getting Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy.
Neither of my parents had this! I couldn't have gotten it from them!
I'm sorry, but one of them (or both) had it. It's very likely that the disease had never progressed to the point where it was diagnosed; or, perhaps they had a eye dr who never looked for it. In any case, in order for YOU to have Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy, at least ONE of your parents had the gene! Keep in mind also that the equipment used to detect fuchs' dystrophy wasn't common in eye doctors offices many years ago! Because it's genetic, it also means that if you have any siblings or children they should be checked over on an annual basis to see if they have inherited it. They may be looked over today and be declared "fuchs' dystrophy free"; but they may have the gene and not have it developed to the point where it can be detected; it may show up years later (hence the annual checkups for it) or it may never diagnosed at all (even if looking for it) and be passed on to their heirs.
Is there a cure for this? Will it go away by itself?
The only real cure for the disease is a cornea transplant. If the disease isn't very far advanced you can get temporary relief, under the care of an eye professional, by using muro eyedrops. However, it isn't going to go away by itself. It's possible it may never progress very far; it's also JUST as possible that it may take a sudden nosedive leaving you almost blind literally overnight. Sometimes the disease will progress to the point where painful blisters will burst on the surface of the cornea, scarring the tissue.
When is the right time to get a cornea transplant?
The time to get a cornea transplant with fuchs' corneal dystrophy is AS SOON AS the fuchs' symptoms BEGIN to affect your daily life. Since the healing process takes quite awhile you don't want to wait until you can't depend on having good vision in the non-transplant eye for a long time.
You will find answers to these and other questions you may have about Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy if you click on the links on top of the page.
We have a group of people with this disease who have joined together in a free Christian Yahoo group to help each other by sharing ideas, information, and support. We've also accumulated a HUGE Library of information for our members. We'd love to have you join us! What better way to find answers to your questions than from the people who know it best of all... those who have lived with it and FOUND the answers you're looking for through personal experiences and research!!!
CHRISTIAN Fuchs' Dystrophy group that is Christians supporting other Christians with this disease:
Click to join FuchsInspiration
For free Bible messages for your life today (NOT a fuchs' dystrophy group):