My View With Fuchs'
How We See The World

Also, visit Surgical Eyes for their "Image Center"

We have an inherited eye disease of the cornea called Fuchs' Dystrophy. We experience glare, rainbows, and cloudiness. Driving at night is almost impossible. Lack of brightness/contrast makes daytime driving difficult, and even walking down the street can be a challenge.

More than eleven hundred of us Fuchs' sufferers have formed a support group called "Fuchs' Friends," and some of us have attempted to depict how we see things.

Hope this helps you deal with Fuchs'.

This photo is a window in a shopping center which reflects the world much the way we see it. Note the crispness of the right window frame as compared to the "foggy" indefinite view inside.

Our disease was named after a doctor in Vienna, Prof. Ernst Fuchs (pronounced FOOKS or FEWKS).

One early symptom of Fuchs' is glare and painful sensitivity to light. People with Fuchs' will flinch when seeing the sunlight glare off a car windshield, sitting under inset canister lighting, facing a window in a restaurant, stadium lights, or even under the small light above their seat in an airplane. These people often resort to big hats, sunvisors or wraparound sunglasses.

Lights at night are a special problem. Here's a depiction:

Imagine this is one streetlight or headlight. Now multiply it by the number of headlights you would see on a freeway.

Here's another depiction of how a sufferer sees headlights.

Another stage of the disease is the "fogginess" that is often worse in the morning or on humid days, but comes and goes by its own fickle rules. Some of our group have discovered that a stressful event can plunge our vision into the fogs. To explain this type of vision, imagine a loss of contrast, brightness, and color. For example:

Advanced Fuchs' sufferers may completely forget what the color white looks like. White appears to them as grayish. To simulate how a Fuchs' eye sees text, place 4 layers of wax paper over this print. That's why reading of a newspaper is one of the first things to go. It's just too much work to read.

Bright colors are sacrificed, too. Colors are "muddy," A Fuchs' lady may put on too much blush because she can't see when "enough is enough." An office worker will find sticking white labels on white envelopes a challenge. The edges aren't distinguishable. Memos written in pencil might as well be invisible. We can see black marker pen on yellow.

Some of our Fuchs' Friends have said they feel they are "seeing slowly." That may be because we need to take the input from our vision, analyze it, trying to figure out...

Is that a step or a speed bump or a painted line?

A normal eye could see that "It's a drain in the street!"

Even when we're walking we may wonder, is that a
shadow, a drain, or what is it? I better watch my step!

What a dirty trick! It's just fresh asphalt over a repair!

(I'd feel like an idiot if anybody saw me stepping carefully over that...)

Members of Fuchs' Friends have some hilarious stories about "What I thought I saw." One of the classics is the person who thought she was picking up behind her dog, getting startled when "the litter" jumped away. It was a frog! We call these our "Fuchs' Moments," and we have many of them every day.

Here is another wonderful website with depictions of how our members see glare, lack of contrast, and the special "light shows" we get after we've had a corneal transplant. Visit it.

Surgical Eyes

If you have or know someone with Fuchs', join Fuchs' Friends:


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Page updated July 15, 2005, by Dorothy
Original Graphics copyright Dorothy Acton
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