Salzmann’s Nodular Degeneration

Salzmann’s Nodular Degeneration is a condition where a “callus” like nodule forms on the front surface of the cornea.  It generally forms in both eyes usually in an asymmetric fashion.

normal clear cornea
normal clear cornea
salzmann's nodules
cornea with salzmann’s nodules
salzmann's nodules
cornea with salzmann’s nodules

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Symptoms

Initially patients may notice a chronic foreign body sensation in one or both eyes due to the irregular wetting of the eye in the area of the salzmann’s nodule.  With increasing size of the nodule the foreign body sensation will increase and vision will begin to be affected.  Salzmann’s nodules cause irregular astigmastim which will result in blurred vision.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis usually occurs with a slit lamp examination of the cornea during an eye examination. In its earliest of stages, Salzmann’s can be subtle. Frequent prescription changes and the inability to have vision corrected to 20/20 sharp helps to alert your doctor to rule out salzmann’s formation.  Corneal Topography can aid in the diagnosis with characteristic irregular astigmatism.

Treatment

Treatment of the salzmann’s nodule involves removal of the nodule with a superficial keratectomy procedure.  Ongoing treatment/prevention is aimed at controlling chronic irritation of the eye such as dry eye, blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction.