Baltimore Corneal Specialist on Fuchs Dystrophy Severity Risk Factors

Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Friday, September 5, 2014

Baltimore Corneal Specialist on Fuchs Dystrophy Severity Risk Factors

BaltimoreWashington Eye Center Corneal Specialist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. commented on some risk factors that affect the severity of Fuchs’ Dystrophy. “Fuchs’ Dystrophy is a type of corneal disease that affects the inner most layer of the cornea-the endothelium. Fuchs’ Dystrophy 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,” commented Dr. Spagnolo.

The 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 more rapidly than normal, making the endothelium less efficient in its pumping activity. This results in the cornea swelling and distorting vision. 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 corneal thickness-reflecting greater risk of corneal swelling.

If you or someone you know has a family history of Fuchs’ Dystrophy or has any risk factors for increasing the severity of Fuchs’ Dystrophy they are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061 and River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.