For patients with Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy (FECD) it is important to have some knowledge of the risk factors that can lead to or predict an increased severity of the disease process.
What is Fuchs Dystrophy?
Fuchs’ Dystrophy is a type of corneal disease that affects the inner most layer of the cornea-the endothelium. In general, it is slowly progressive and can be found in both eyes and is slightly more common in women than men. While it is possible to observe Fuchs’ Dystrophy in people in their 30’s and 40’s, it usually does not compromise vision until people are in their 50’s or 60’s.
How Does Fuchs Dystrophy Affect the Cornea?
The corneal endothelial cells are responsible for pumping water out of the cornea and helping to maintain the corneal transparency. While the reason is poorly understood, in Fuchs’ Dystrophy, the endothelial cells die, which make the endothelium less efficient in its pumping activity. This results in the cornea swelling and distorting vision.
Risk Factors Affect Severity of Fuchs Dystrophy
Researchers reporting in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science studied the effects of smoking, and other risk factors, on the development of advanced Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) and on central corneal thickness (CCT). As predicted, being female increased the odds of developing advanced Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) by 34% and smoking increased the odds by 30%. Besides reporting that smoking was associated with an increased risk of developing advanced FECD, diabetes was also associated with increased in corneal thickness-reflecting greater risk of corneal swelling.
If you or someone you know has questions about Fuchs Dystrophy the risk factors that affect severity of the disease, please feel free to call Seeta Eye Centers and schedule an eye examination by calling 845-454-1025 , visiting Seeta Eye Centers or facebook.com/seetaeyecenters.
Seeta Eye Centers is conveniently located at 27 Davis Avenue, Poughkeepsie, New York 12603, Cecilwood Health Center, 969 Main Street, Yorktown, New York 12524 and 664 Stoneleigh Avenue, Suite 100, Carmel, New York 10512 for patients from Westchester County, Rockland County and throughout the Hudson Valley, Dutchess County and Orange County.