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Eye and Vision Care

Fuchs` Dystrophy or Dry Eye?

05/20/2011

Question:

I am a female, age 65. I have had dry eyes, soreness and a gritty sensation in the eyes for several years. I associated this condition with a drug I`m taking for breast cancer (Arimidex) since the eye problems started approximately when I first took the drug. However, I have recently been diagnosed with FUCHS DYSTROPHY and the Ophtho. dr. wants me to start on a fairly strong drug: Travatan. I do not have most of the symptoms of Fuchs`, and I`m wondering if I just have dry eye. Also, I have had my eyes checked every two years for two decades and believe that this condition should have been found long ago and my (deceased) parents never mentioned it to me. Do you agree with me that using Travatan is too strong a solution for something that may not in fact be fuchs dystrophy and that the use of this Travatan would be somewhat dangerous given the side effects? Thank you!

Answer:

Thanks for a complicated question!

I obviously cannot recommend any specific diagnosis or treatment for you without examining you. Netwellness is a patient education website that provides general information but not individual advice.

But I can tell you that Travatan is a prescription eyedrop that lowers the pressure inside your eye. And therefore, it is frequently prescribed for glaucoma patients.

Fuchs' dystrophy is a corneal disease for which artificial tears and eyedrops that pull water out of the cornea (hyperosmotics) are recommended. Many patients with Fuchs' also have red eyes and slightly reduced vision.

So I would suggest that you get a second opinion on your diagnosis to confirm whether or not you have Fuchs', glaucoma, or some other eye problem.

For more information:

Go to the Eye and Vision Care health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO
Professor Emeritus of Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University