Fuchs’ Dystrophy is a rare corneal disease that causes excess fluid buildup in the cornea. It is a slowly-progressing disease, the cause of which is unknown. The disease is usually passed on from a parent who suffers from the condition.
The cornea is made up of several layers, including the most inner layer, the endothelium. In a healthy cornea, the endothelial cells act as a pump or filter, draining any excess fluid from the cornea in order to maintain its clarity.
Fuchs’ Dystrophy affects these endothelial cells, causing them to deteriorate and eventually die. The result is a less effective drainage pump and fluid buildup in the cornea. This fluid buildup causes a number of reactions, including swelling, pain, cloudiness and eventually reduced vision.
The actual cause of Fuchs’ Dystrophy is unknown, but it is apparent that the disease is heredity. However, the degree of which one family member experiences symptoms can vary greatly, so it is not uncommon for a person to pass along the disease unknowingly to their offspring.
People more likely to develop the disease include:
The symptoms of Fuchs’ Dystrophy usually don’t appear in people until they are age 50 or older, although in some cases they can appear sooner. They include:
These symptoms usually affect both eyes, and gradually worsen over time. Additionally, these symptoms are concerns for a variety of eye problems, so if you are experiencing any of these, it is advised that you schedule an appointment with your eye doctor immediately.