How We See The World

We Are A Group Of People
With A Corneal Dystrophy
Called Fuchs' Syndrome.

How my eyes see things
We have an inherited eye disease
of the cornea. 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.

Almost twelve hundred of us Fuchs' sufferers
belong to a support group begun in 1999 called
"Fuchs' Friends," and some of us have attempted
to depict how we see things.

Hope this helps you deal with Fuchs'.

The above 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.

By the way, 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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