Fuch's Dystrophy (Vision Correction Treatment) – Salt Lake City, Lehi, Utah, Northern Utah

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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.

Symptoms

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

Causes

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.

Treatment Options

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.

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