Reis Bucklers Cornea Dystrophy- Hailey Reichart

By Michelle Grover ‘19

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When were you first diagnosed? I was nine months old when I was first diagnosed with Reis Bucklers Cornea Dystrophy.How were you diagnosed?Since my dad had it, they sort of expected me to have it too. When I was about nine months old, I had my first sore eye so they took me to Wills Eye and they told me I had it. What exactly is it? It’s a medical eye condition where I get scratches on my cornea.What are effects of it?It causes me to miss a lot of time from school, gives me really bad vision, and causes my eyes to be very light sensitively.Do you get any assistance?I get help from my guidance counselor and the Commission of the Blind helps me out with a lot of things like getting assistance with my school work. It’s more towards stuff when I’m older like getting a job, and so on.Does it get worse around certain seasons?The cold really affects my eyes for the worse. The cold wind makes my eyes more irritated and the cold temperature. When it gets warmer, it normally calms down.Has it affected you in doing your school work? Since my eye causes me to miss a lot of time, and I’m practically blind when I’m home, I miss A LOT of school work and am often really stressed with the work when I come back to school.Has it affected your social life?Yes. There’s been times where I’ve missed out on parties and a bunch of different things because I have been sick with a sore eye.Has it stopped you from doing sports and or school activities?I don’t play sports because I can never see the balls or people well, and since I miss a lot of time, I wouldn’t be able to be dedicated to the sport.Does it affect both eyes?Not at the same time, but an erosion (scratch) can occur on either eye so both of my eyes have really poor vision.Does anyone else in your family have it? My dad, my aunt and also my grandfather have it. It comes only from my father’s side of the family.How often does it usually occur for you?It can happen from anywhere from two to six times a month, and they normally last three to six days.How rare is this case? It’s pretty rare, I’d say. Not many people in the United States have it.Is there a cure?Sadly no, but whenever I have an erosion, which is the medical term for the scratch being on my eye, I use erythromycin that helps to get the bacteria out.Is there any kind of surgery to help it?There are two surgeries I can opt to get in the future-laser eye surgery and or a cornea transplant. These are to help my vision more so, the eye condition is still going to come back no matter what.Have you considered either surgery? Why or why not?The only surgery I’d consider getting is the laser surgery because I don’t really want a new cornea and the laser works better anyways.How could you describe the pain?I mean it’s pretty indescribable. It hurts extremely. It basically feels like there’s a sore on your eye. It burns and tenses up with the light. The only time I’m allowed to touch it is when I need to apply medicine and my hands need to be washed.Could you make it worse somehow?I could potentially if my hands aren’t really washed and more bacteria gets inside and if I push on my eye hard and inflame the scratch more.How do you stay positive through it all?I just try to remember that other people have it worse. I guess that helps. My family keeps me going too, so that’s a plus.

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Reis Bucklers Cornea Dystrophy- Hailey Reichart