Fuchs’ Dystrophy

Fuchs’ Dystrophy is a condition that affects the cornea the clear front of the eye. The innermost layer of the cornea is lined with endothelial cells. These cells are responsible for pumping fluid out of the cornea to keep it clear. In patients with Fuchs’ Dystrophy the endothelial cells are fewer and less effective. Over time the number of endothelial cells diminish allowing the cornea to swell and make the vision cloudy. Initial symptoms often occur in the fourth decade or later.

Symptoms of Fuchs’ Dystrophy
• Blurrred vision, worse in the morning
• Sensitivity to light
• Glare and halos around lights
• Eye pain
• Decreased contrast sensitivity –  the ability to see the difference between similar objects of similar shade, ex: difficulty seeing a golf ball in front of a pale sky

The initial symptoms of Fuchs’ Dystrophy are often controlled with over the counter medicated eye drops. Patients also may find relief by blowing a hairdryer from arms length, set on low, in the direction of their eyes. As the day progresses, the vision naturally clears up on its own.

As Fuchs’ Dystrophy progresses, the symptoms last longer and become more severe. Surgical options are considered when the vision deteriorates to a point where eye drops are no longer sufficient.

Surgical Options:

DSEK  (Descemets Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty)

DMEK (Descemets Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty)

Penetrating Keratoplasty (Full thickness corneal transplant)


At Heart of Texas Eye Care, we have a primary objective of caring for patients with corneal disease. We are experienced in both performing corneal surgery and training other ophthalmologists to perform these surgeries. We specialize in DSEK and DMEK which allow faster recovery and superior visual results

Learn More about DSAEK – Click HERE