If you suspect you have Fuchs' dystrophy, make an appointment to see an eye specialist (ophthalmologist). In some cases, you may be referred to an ophthalmologist who specializes in corneal disease.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, ask if you need to do anything in advance.
- List symptoms you're experiencing. Record when you first noticed them and what situations make them worse.
- List key personal information, including any family history of eye conditions.
- List all medications, vitamins and supplements you're taking.
- Consider taking along a family member or a friend who drives. You may not want to drive yourself home if your pupils have been dilated for the exam. And your companion can help remember information provided during your appointment.
- List questions to ask your doctor.
Your time with your doctor may be limited, so preparing questions can help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For Fuchs' dystrophy, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Are there other possible causes?
- What kinds of tests do I need? Do I need to prepare for these tests ahead of time?
- Is my condition likely temporary or ongoing?
- What treatments are available, and what do you recommend?
- How rapidly will my condition progress?
- How will my vision be affected?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
- Do I need to restrict my activities in any way?
- Do you have brochures or other printed material I can take home? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask any additional questions that occur to you during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
July 22, 2014
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Do your symptoms change throughout the day?
- Do you have a family member with Fuchs' dystrophy?
- Have you noticed any changes in your vision?
- If so, does your vision seem to be worse in the morning and improve during the day?
- Facts about the cornea and corneal disease. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/cornealdisease. Accessed Feb. 7, 2014.
- What is Fuchs' dystrophy? American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/fuchs-dystrophy.cfm. Accessed Feb. 7, 2014.
- Patel SV, et al. Anterior corneal aberrations after Descemet's stripping endothelial keratoplasty for Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy. Ophthalmology. 2012;119:1522.
- Gipson IK. Age-related changes and diseases of the ocular surface and cornea. Investigative ophthalmology and visual science. 2013;54:ORSF48.
- Hamill CE, et al. Fuchs endothelial cornea dystrophy: A review of the genetics behind disease development. Seminars in Ophthalmology. 2013;28:281.
- Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 10, 2014.
- Wieben ED, et al. A common trinucleotide repeat expansion within the transcription factor 4 (TCF4, E2-2) gene predicts Fuchs corneal dystrophy. PLoS One. 2012;7:e49083. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0049083. Accessed Feb. 13, 2014.
- What is a comprehensive dilated eye exam? National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/eyeexam.asp. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- The Wills Eye Manual: Office and Emergency Room Diagnosis and Treatment of Eye Disease Gerstenblith AT, et al., eds. Disease. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012. http://ovidsp.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi?T=JS&CSC=Y&NEWS=N&PAGE=booktext&D=books3&AN=01626623/6th_Edition/2&XPATH=/OVIDBOOK%5b1%5d/METADATA%5b1%5d/TBY%5b1%5d/EDITORS%5b1%5d. Accessed Feb. 24, 2014.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 5, 2014.
- Patel SV. Graft survival and endothelial outcomes in the new era of endothelial keratoplasty. Experimental Eye Research. 2012; 95:40.
- Patel SV (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 20, 2014.
- Baratz KH, et al. E2-2 protein and Fuchs's corneal dystrophy. New England Journal of Medicine. 2010;363:1016.