If you suspect that you have Fuchs' dystrophy, make an appointment to see an eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist). In some cases, you may be referred to an ophthalmologist who specializes in corneal disease.
Because appointments can be brief and there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be well prepared. Here's some information to help you get ready, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance.
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including family history of eye conditions.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking.
- Consider taking a family member or friend along. Sometimes it can be difficult to absorb all the information provided during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down 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:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- 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?
- Are there any activity restrictions that I need to follow?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment whenever you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
Jul. 16, 2011
- 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?
- Facts about the cornea and corneal disease. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/cornealdisease. Accessed May 31, 2011.
- Clintworth GK. Corneal dystrophies. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases. 2009;4:7.
- Borboli S, et al. Mechanisms of disease: Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy. Ophthalmology Clinics of North America. 2002;15:17.
- Corneal conditions. Cornea Research Foundation of America. http://www.cornea.org/index.php/research/corneal_conditions. Accessed May 31, 2011.
- Afshari NA, et al. Clinical study of Fuchs corneal endothelial dystrophy leading to penetrating keratoplasty. Archives of Ophthalmology. 2006;124:777.
- Visiting your doctor. The Corneal Dystrophy Foundation. http://www.cornealdystrophyfoundation.org/cdfliterature/Visiting_Your_Doctor.pdf. Accessed May 31, 2011.
- Hecker LA, et al. Anterior keratocyte depletion in Fuchs endothelial dystrophy. Archives of Ophthalmology. 2011;129:555.