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Fuchs Dystrophy: FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What are signs and symptoms of Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy (FECD)?

For more information, please visit our symptoms section of the Web site.

If I have Fuchs Dystrophy, will I definitely need a corneal transplant?

No.  There is great variation in when people with Fuchs need corneal transplants, and some never need a transplant at all.

Is there anything I can do to prevent my Fuchs Dystrophy from getting worse?

No, nothing that we know of.  However, talk with your ophthalmologist for steps you may be able to take to help alleviate your symptoms (make you feel better). 

Where did I get Fuchs Dystrophy from?  Both my parents saw fine until they died when they were 75.

Not all Fuchs Dystrophy is inherited from parents.  There seem to be what are called sporadic cases, in which there is no family history of Fuchs dystrophy.

If I have Fuchs Dystrophy will my children get the disease?

If you have Fuchs, and one of your parents had the disease, each of your children has approximately a 50% chance of having Fuchs.  (You can read more about this in the section on autosomal dominance.)

If you have Fuchs, but neither of your parents had the disease, there is an unknown risk to each of your children.

My father wore glasses all his life.  Does that mean he probably had Fuchs Dystrophy?

Wearing glasses has nothing to do with Fuchs. 

What kind of doctor can diagnose me with Fuchs?

Fuchs Dystrophy is not an easy disorder to diagnose properly.  If you are concerned about Fuchs occurring in your family, an ophthalmologist or optometrist should be able to tell you if there are signs of Fuchs Dystrophy in your eyes.

How often should I see an ophthalmologist? 

If you have been diagnosed with FECD, your ophthalmologist can tell you how often you should be seen. 

Are there any clinical trials going on at this time?

No; currently there are no clinical trials.  You can check on clinical trials by going to http://www.nei.nih.gov/neitrials/index.aspx

Why is my vision worse in the morning?

When you are asleep, your eyelids are closed, and the moisture is not allowed to evaporate from the cornea.  Before you wake up, your corneas contain the maximum amount of moisture.  After you wake up and start going about your daily activities, the water evaporates from the surface of the cornea, making the stroma thinner (and your sight less distorted).

Why can’t I see as well on days with high humidity?

For the same reason that you can’t see as well when you first wake up in the morning.  When the humidity in the outside air is high, the water won’t evaporate as quickly from the surface of your cornea.  (Just like your clothes don’t dry as quickly or your crackers will get soggy on a humid day.) 

I have been told to try many different things to make my sight clear up in the morning.  Are these safe to try?

Please discuss these techniques with your ophthalmologist (preferably a corneal specialist) before trying anything new. 

How can I contact other people with Fuchs Dystrophy?

There is popular website maintained by people with Fuchs at http://www.fuchs-dystrophy.com/   It includes a message board through which you may contact other people with FECD. 

 

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