About Fuch's Dystrophy
This condition, named over 100 years ago after the Austrian ophthalmologist Ernst Fuchs, is a genetic condition where the endothelial cells are pushed out of the way by bumps that develop on the Descemet’s membrane. The microscopic bumps don’t allow the endothelial cells to dehydrate the cornea, causing it to become swollen. A swollen cornea turns grey in color and doesn’t focus light properly. Fortunately, there is a cure for Fuch’s dystrophy. The inside layer of the cornea can be removed and replaced. This technique, called DMEK (Decemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty), has a high success rate with excellent visual outcomes and a very low rejection rate. This surgery replaces the inside layer of the cornea (about 1/100th of a millimeter thick) and leaves the rest of the normal cornea untouched, restoring the normal balance of corneal hydration and providing a clearer cornea. Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Aaron Waite at Waite Vision in Lehi, UT can help restore your vision with DMEK. Contact Waite Vision today to schedule your consultation.
"Dr. Waite and his staff are absolutely amazing! Best experience I could have hoped for! I am seeing better than 20/20 after just a couple days now. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone who is thinking about getting LASIK. They were so caring and professional, and really walk you through things the entire way. They answered all my questions and concerns, and explained things thoroughly to where the nerves were calmed and was just total excitement to leave the glasses behind!! Thank you guys, super grateful!"- J.S. / Google / Feb 02, 2019
"I have had astigmatism and needed glasses for roughly twenty years. My experience here was wonderful, and Doctor Waite and his team were a pleasure to get to know. The procedure was quick, painless, and I can see better now without my glasses than I ever could with. I am extremely pleased. Well worth it. ??"- S.R. / Google / Jan 29, 2019
"Very impressed with Dr. Waite and his staff. All were very professional and polite. They helped me go from seeing 20/100 to 20/15 with LASIK. Needless to say, I’m very pleased with my results."- E.B. / Google / Jan 29, 2019
"I have had severe amblyopia in my left eye since childhood and came to Dr Waite to see if lasik in that eye could help. His office has more progressive technology for testing than any other eye doctor I have ever seen. The tests were also a lot more comfortable than anything I’ve had before. What I really appreciated about Dr Waite was his open and upfront evaluation. He told me of two patients that had remarkably improved vision to their amblyopia but also advised me that mine had a much higher risk of showing no improvement. I felt good about it and went ahead. What surprised me the most is that my good eye went from 20/15 to 20/10 vision in just one month. I didn’t expect surgery in one eye to help improve the other! My facial recognition improved remarkably as well, and color and light are so much brighter in the eye with ambliopia. I’m excited to see how things continue to improve over the next year! Add all of that to the spa-like, framily experience all of the staff creates; I wouldn’t go anywhere else. This is absolutely the place to go if you want a deep and meaningful experience."- A.W. / Google / Jan 29, 2019
"Impressive office and staff! From day one Dr. Waite’s staff was prompt in responding to my referral, friendly, and professional. My initial consultation and following cross linking procedure from Dr. Waite was done with compassion and the highest skill set I’ve experienced. After my procedure I was fully “pampered” with recovery tools and clear instructions. To top it Dr. Waite provided unmatched white glove treatment by checking in with me daily and then weekly post procedure. If Google allowed 10 stars I would give them!"- D.K. / Google / Jan 18, 2019
Fuchs' dystrophy symptoms may include:
- Sensitivity to light
- A feeling that something is in your eye (foreign-body sensation)
- Seeing a glare or "halos" around bright lights
- Pain behind the eyes
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Poor vision upon awakening that improves throughout the day
Fuch's dystrophy can be inherited. However, some family members may be unaffected while other members have varying degrees of severity. Outside of genetics, the cause of the condition is not widely understood. Factors that may increase your risk of developing the condition are:
Your gender – the condition is more common in women than in men
Genetics – having a family history of the condition increases your risk
Age – the disease typically starts in an individual's twenties or thirties
If you have a family history of Fuch's dystrophy or symptoms that are associated with the condition, Dr. Waite will perform a series of test to determine the severity of your visual impairment.
- Staging – Dr. Waite will determine the extent of your condition by examining your eye with an optical microscope called a slit lamp.
- Corneal pressure test – After numbing your eyes with drops, Dr. Waite will briefly touch your eyes with a special instrument that measures eye pressure to distinguish between glaucoma and Fuch's dystrophy.
- Corneal thickness – Dr. Waite might use a special instrument to measure the thickness of the cornea.
- Corneal cell count – Sometimes a special instrument is used to record the number, shape, and size of the cells that line the back of the cornea.
DMEK has a high success rate, when treating Fuch's dystrophy, with excellent visual outcomes and a very low rejection rate. This surgery replaces the inside layer of the cornea (about 1/100th of a millimeter thick) and leaves the rest of the normal cornea untouched, restoring the normal balance of corneal hydration, resulting in a clearer cornea. Dr. Waite has used this surgical procedure to treat Fuch's dystrophy successfully in numerous patients. During an examination at Waite Vision, Dr. Waite will assess your situation to determine whether DMEK will address your symptoms or whether another procedure is more suited to your needs.
Life in Focus
Waite Vision is a well-equipped facility featuring an especially skilled staff and founder, Dr. Aaron Waite, who is dedicated to helping you obtain a life in focus. If you are suffering from Fuch's dystrophy or another corneal or refractive vision error that affects your everyday life, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. We proudly serve the communities along the Wasatch Front, as well as Utah County, and Salt Lake County.