About Fuch’s Corneal Dystrophy
While it serves as the outer layer at the front of the eye, the cornea itself is comprised of multiple layers. The innermost corneal layer, known as the endothelial layer, regulates how much fluid can enter the cornea. A proper amount of fluid in the cornea is crucial for proper vision.
In Fuch’s Dystrophy, cells in this endothelial layer deteriorate, forming bumps called guttae and causing too much fluid to accumulate in the cornea. This endothelial deterioration is caused by genetic mutation and results in corneal swelling, impaired vision, and severe discomfort.
Symptoms of Fuch’s Corneal Dystrophy
Fuch’s Dystrophy is a progressive condition, meaning symptoms tend to worsen over time.
Symptoms of Fuch’s Dystrophy may include:
- Blurry vision due to fluid building up in the cornea
- Discomfort in the eye such as a gritty sensation or sharp pain
- Discomfort around bright light, seeing a glare around bright lights
- Impaired ability to perceive color contrasts
Risk Factors for Fuch’s Corneal Dystrophy
Fuch’s Dystrophy is hereditary, but the exact genetic basis of the condition is unknown. Patients are born with the condition but typically first experience symptoms after age 40. In very rare instances, patients with an early-onset form of the condition may present symptoms before age 30.
Risk factors for Fuch’s Dystrophy may include:
- A family history of the condition
- Sex: The condition is twice as common in female patients
Treating Fuch’s Corneal Dystrophy at UT Health Austin
Fuch’s dystrophy is first diagnosed by measuring corneal thickness and checking any corneal irregularities. Your doctor may also count the endothelial cells in your cornea. Treatment for Fuch’s Dystrophy depends on the severity of the condition. Your ophthalmologist is well-versed in the most current, evidence-based treatment recommendations, which may include medication, monitoring, or surgery, and will work with you to determine the best course of action.
Care Team Approach
At UT Health Austin, we take a multidisciplinary approach to your care. This means you will benefit from the expertise of multiple specialists across a variety of disciplines. Your care team will include fellowship-trained ophthalmologists who specialize in adult strabismus as well as neuro-ophthalmologists, ophthalmic technicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, social workers, and more who work together to help get back to the things in your life that matter most to you. We also collaborate with our colleagues at the Dell Medical School and The University of Texas at Austin to utilize the latest research, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, allowing us to identify new therapies to improve treatment outcomes. We are committed to communicating and coordinating your care with your other healthcare providers to ensure that we are providing you with comprehensive, whole-person care.