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.

Normally, the cells that line the back surface (endothelium) of the cornea prevent excess fluid from accumulating. This helps the cornea maintain its transparency. But with Fuchs' dystrophy, those endothelial cells slowly deteriorate, lose function and die. As a result, fluid builds up in the cornea. This may cause swelling, cloudy vision, pain and loss of corneal transparency.

Although the cause of Fuchs' dystrophy is unknown, it may be inherited. Treatments, including surgery, are available for Fuchs' dystrophy.

Jul. 16, 2011