Corneal & Anterior Eye Problems

Fuch's Endothelial Dystrophy

The cells lining the inside of the cornea are called endothelial cells. The function of the corneal endothelial cells is to continually pump water out of the cornea, back into the chamber behind the cornea. If they stop working the cornea becomes waterlogged and cloudy and the vision becomes blurred.

There are a number of conditions which affect how well the cells lining the inside of the cornea work. Fuchs corneal endothelial dystrophy is the commonest of these conditions. It is an inherited disease which causes the corneal endothelial cells to gradually stop working effectively and to appear abnormal when looked at with a microscope.

People with Fuch's endothelial dystrophy have no symptoms initially. If you have the disease, it may be detected on a routine examination by your optometrist, sometimes long before it causes any problems. The rate of progression of Fuch's endothelial dystrophy is quite variable. If you have the disease, giving you advice about how soon it might cause problems is therefore very difficult.

Typically, the earliest symptoms are slight blurring of vision when wakening, which clears gradually over minutes. As the disease worsens the severity of blurring can get worse and the time it takes to clear will get longer. Occasionally, patients get glare, with light scatter from the abnormal lining of the cornea before they get blurring. Sometimes this glare can be severe enough to warrant surgery.

Fuchs' Dystrophy Overview

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