Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

Please read our important medical disclaimer.

Question:
Can symptoms from Fuchs' dystrophy (a condition that harms the inner layer of the cornea) be confused with symptoms of glaucoma, for example those caused by corneal edema?

Answer:
Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy and glaucoma (a disease that increases pressure in the eye) can have overlapping signs and symptoms that can make them difficult to distinguish. The hallmark sign of Fuchs' is dysfunction of the corneal endothelium and edema (swelling) in all layers of the cornea. Occasionally in glaucoma, patients can get edema in the corneal epithelium, typically when there is a very acute elevation in intraocular pressure. Over time, the cornea adapts to the elevation in eye pressure and the edema resolves. Glaucoma and Fuchs' can have overlapping symptoms including blurred vision, light sensitivity, glare, and halos. A thorough slit lamp evaluation looking for corneal guttae (damaged corneal cells) in Fuchs' or optic nerve changes in glaucoma, as well as diagnostic tests such as specular microscopy can aid your ophthalmologist in differentiating between the two conditions.

Answered by: Omar R. Chaudhary, MD Dr. Omar R. Chaudhary

Categories: Eye Diseases, Glaucoma

Have a question that hasn't been answered yet? Ask it!

Answered: Mar 30, 2014

Pop needs to be configured.