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Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy: My Story

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my story of Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Thinkstock

I was recently diagnosed with Fuchs' corneal dystrophy (Fuchs) in my right eye. I’d like to share my experience.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Fuchs' dystrophy (fooks DIS-truh-fee) is an uncommon, slowly progressive disorder that affects the cornea — the transparent front surface of your eye. Fuchs' dystrophy is a type of corneal dystrophy, a group of conditions that may cause a hazy deposit to build up over the cornea.”

My optometrist first recognized that I had Fuchs when I went to see him for cloudy eyes. To give you as description, it was as if my right eye was steamed over like a windshield. I thought it was eyestrain. I was wrong.

From there, the optometrist referred me to a corneal specialist who confirmed the diagnosis as Fuchs. He prescribed me with over-the-counter eye drops called Muro 128, which is basically sodium chloride. This helps dry out the cornea to slow down the leak, which causes the cloudiness.

After two weeks of using Muro 128 eye drops every hour on the hour, the specialist told me that the only cure would be a corneal transplant because there is no cure for Fuchs.

It would continually get worse, but it could take days, months or years. However, he would not do a transplant until I went totally blind. Wrong answer, in my opinion.

At that point, I did consider myself totally blind in the right eye unless I used the Muro eyedrops every half hour during my waking hours. I also wear glasses, but the right eye prescription was totally wrong by this time.

So, after two months of carrying Muro 128 eye drops in a tiny pouch around my neck, constantly putting in eye drops, I decided it was time for another opinion.

I found a young, enthusiastic ophthalmologist named Dr. Albert Caruana at Cleveland Clinic Florida who specializes in corneal transplants. I say "young and enthusiatic" because as I get older, the doctors look like kids to me, but in my case, I was happy to find a doctor that was almost right out of medical school.

Dr. Caruana did the corneal transplant within a few months. It was a simple day surgery followed by check-up appointments after the first few weeks.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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