I have just been told that I have Fuchs, what should I do?
The most sensible thing to do is to locate a cornea specialist
who can determine what stage of the disease you are in and advise
you of your options. And, you should join our
Fuchs Friends support group.
I was told that someday I will probably need a cornea transplant.
What is a cornea transplant?
A cornea transplant is the replacement of your cornea with a cornea
from a human donor. A cornea transplant is done as an outpatient
procedure, often under local anesthetic. Recovery from the surgery
is quick, sometimes just a few days. However, healing of the transplant
can take up to 1 year or even longer. During that time vision
After transplant, what kind of vision can I expect?
The first thing you will notice is that colors are bright and
everything appears to be in high contrast. It is common for a
transplant recipient to have astigmatism and other irregularities
in the vision that are a result of the surgery and the stitches
used to attach the cornea.
I have both Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy and cataracts. Can I have
If you have cataracts and Fuchs, you must see a corneal specialist
who can evaluate whether it is possible to do cataract surgery.
Very often, a very careful surgeon can do the cataract surgery
and enable transplant surgery to be delayed for several years.
would like to know approximately how long from the time of diagnosis
of Fuchs for most members to finally having a transplant."
was wondering if the fuchs disease ALWAYS gets progressively worse
until the only cure is a transplant or does it sometimes stay
pretty much the same?"
is the 'typical' rate of advancement of this disease? I realize
that it varies considerably between folks but a ballpark indication
would be appreciated."
There is no reliable timetable for Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy. Progression,
change or lack thereof is not predictable and seems to be arbitrary.
moves slowly most of the time. In Dorothy's case it took over
20 years from first signs to transplant. However, some members
had the transplant within 5 years, and some developed blister
pain and had the transplant within months. The rate of progression
varies from person to person. Even corneal specialists don't want
to try to predict it.
who are in the earliest stages of corneal dystrophy are doing
nothing for it, because they have no symptoms. Those in the "glare"
stage use many types of sunglasses and sunvisors/hats. Those in
the "cloudy" stage are often prescribed Muro ointment
or drops. Those whose vision decreases past their ability to work
or function, whose lives are severely hampered--or those who develop
the painful blisters--get a corneal transplant, which nowadays
is over 95% successful.