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What symptoms develop in patients with Fuchs' dystrophy?

A person with Fuchs’ dystrophy may have hazy or cloudy vision, with the disease usually developing over two stages.
Stage 1 may produce no symptoms or only mild symptoms. In this early stage, the swelling of the corneal cells usually occurs in the morning then tends to clear as the day progresses. Vision is worse in the morning because closing your eyes during sleep keeps moisture from evaporating out of the cornea.
Once the disease has progressed to Stage 2, vision no longer gets better later in the day. People with Stage 2 Fuchs’ dystrophy may have pain and sensitivity to light. Extreme climate conditions, such as high humidity, can worsen the condition.
Over time, some people with Stage 2 Fuchs’ dystrophy develop scarring at the center of their cornea. Once scarring is present, the patient may become more comfortable, but the film of scar tissue over the cornea reduces vision.
It can take 10 to 20 years or longer for Fuchs’ dystrophy to progress from its early to late stage. If the end stage of Fuchs’ dystrophy results in significant vision loss, your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) can perform corneal transplant surgery. Fortunately, in the majority of patients, Fuchs’ dystrophy does not progress so far that corneal transplant surgery is needed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.