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Salzmann Nodular Degeneration

A Salzmann degeneration is a deposition of tissue (collagen) on the superficial cornea. The figure shows a black-and-white optical coherence tomography (OCT) with whitish support in the lower part.

This degeneration is usually caused by chronic irritation and grows slowly over years. Even wearing contact lenses for decades can lead to Salzmann degeneration.

Poor eyesight: on the one hand, the nodes lead to a reduction in the transparency of the cornea (Figure: top left). In other words, the window to the outside world becomes cloudy. On the other hand, the nodules lead to a distortion of the entire cornea, as evidenced by the green-blue color in the corneal topography (Figure: top right). This results in an irregular astigmatism with poor eyesight.

Surgical treatment: Salzmann nodes can be surgically removed under the surgical microscope. However, they can reappear after 8-10 years. A second or even third distance is possible.

Improved eyesight after removal of the knots: Approximately 6 months after the operation, we will assess whether the contraction of the cornea has decreased. Why only after 6 months? Because the cornea is very slow in its response. If after 6 months there is still an irregular corneal curvature, then we can improve the cornea with the excimer laser (wavefront-guided transPRK).

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