Droplet degeneration of the cornea in North Cameroon. Prevalence and clinical appearances.
The prevalence of droplet degeneration of the cornea in a defined population of 517 persons in north Cameroon was similar in males and females, but severe changes were commoner in elderly men. Most cases showed only mild changes of granularity and droplet formation in Bowman's zone, but they were sometimes widespread. More severe changes were seen in only nine patients. The clinical appearances are compared with those described from other parts of the world. In support of the aetiological role of direct sunlight, droplet degeneration was much more prevalent in the savanna than in the rain-forest in Cameroon. The condition ranges in severity from very mild to very severe, but difficulties in differential diagnosis, particularly in advanced cases, make it doubtful whether the same basic condition is being described in all cases. These doubts will be resolved only by properly conducted epidemiological studies in different parts of the world.