• How often and for how long should I use a hair dryer to treat my Fuchs’ dystrophy?


    Question:

    I understand using a hair dryer for early treatment of Fuchs’ dystrophy is recommended. But can you tell me for how long and how often this should be done?


    Answer:

    The preferred nonsurgical treatment for Fuchs' dystrophy (a condition that causes damage to the inner layer of the cornea) is sodium chloride ointment or drops. Ask your ophthalmologist for guidance with this treatment.

    Alternatively, some patients use a hair dryer to dehydrate (dry out) the cornea, usually with less success. The hair dryer should be used at low heat and kept at arms distance to avoid burning the skin or damaging the cornea. Since Fuchs' symptoms are usually worse in the beginning of the day, it should be done in morning but can be repeated if need be throughout the day. It should not be done for more than a few minutes at a time. Since it’s hard to determine if any damage is occurring to the eye while performing this maneuver, start with a higher distance away and for shorter duration. If you notice any pain or irritation, stop immediately and see your ophthalmologist.


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