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Fuchs’ Dystrophy


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Fuchs’ dystrophy progresses slowly, usually in both eyes. The disease is more common in women than men and in people with a family history of the disease. Although this condition starts in the 20s and 30s, most people do not experience symptoms until their 50s or 60s.

This condition happens when cells on the back of the cornea (endothelial cells) die off, causing fluid buildup and corneal swelling. Symptoms include:

  • Glare affecting vision in low light conditions
  • Blurred vision in the morning that improves throughout the day
  • Distorted vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Poor night vision
  • Seeing halos around lights at night
  • Small painful blisters on the cornea
  • Cloudy or hazy cornea

When you have a vision-impairing disease, you need a knowledgeable eye care team to provide a fast, accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan. Preserving your eyesight through excellent care is the goal of every eye care professional at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, part of the University of Miami Health System.


Eye Examination - The first step to identifying this disease is a complete eye exam performed by an ophthalmologist. If needed, other tests may be performed.

Slit Lamp - Using an optical microscope with a bright, magnified light source, your eye care professional examines your eyes for abnormal bumps on the back of your cornea.

Eye Pressure Test - After numbing your eyes with special drops, your eye doctor quickly touches your eyes with an instrument that measures eye pressure.

Corneal Thickness - Using an optical instrument, your doctor measures the thickness of your cornea.

Corneal Cell Count - The quantity, size and shape of your corneal cells are measured with a special instrument.


Eye Drops and Ointments - If your disease is not severe, your eye doctor may recommend eye drops or ointment to reduce the swelling in your eye.

Contact Lenses - Specialized soft contact lenses help alleviate pain associated with this disease.

Corneal Transplant Surgery - People with advanced Fuchs’ Dystrophy may require surgery. In this procedure, the surgeon removes the cornea from the donor eye with a special surgical instrument or with laser technology. Using the instrument or laser, the surgeon then removes the damaged cornea from the patient’s eye. Next, the surgeon stitches the new cornea into place.

Why Choose Bascom Palmer Eye Institute?

Outstanding Eye Care. U.S. News & World Report ranks Bascom Palmer #1 in the nation for ophthalmology care. Our physicians are not only leading researchers and renowned eye experts, they’re compassionate caregivers who treat you as a person with unique needs.

University-based Medicine. As part of the University of Miami Health System, we give patients a detailed diagnosis, advanced treatment options and personalized care. Our physician-researchers elevate vision care through research, lecturing and sharing knowledge with a global audience.

Today’s Best Treatments. Your future vision relies on the treatment you receive today. We provide the most sophisticated treatments and technologies available, as well as access to clinical research studies.

Patient-centered Care. Our eye care professionals partner with you to heal your condition or to manage it in a way that preserves your best possible quality of life.

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