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Pinguecula And Pterygium

May 23, 2022


Pinguecula is a condition in which you may observe growth or bump on the white surface of the eyes. It is generally a degeneration of the tissues of the white portion of the eyes that is also known as the conjunctiva. Most of the time, it occurs on the corner side of the eyes, generally on the side of the nose. But, it can occur on either side of the eye. Also, it can occur in either of the eyes. People can be affected by pinguecula at any age, but it more commonly affects middle-aged people and older people. This tissue growth is generally not harmful, and hence no treatment is required for this. It needs to be removed only in some rare cases.

Pinguecula should not be misunderstood with pterygium. When pinguecula progresses, it becomes pterygium. Pterygium is a fibrous and benign (NON cancerous) fibrovascular growth. Pterygium, if progressive may interfere with the  vision of the person.

What Are The Causes Of Pinguecula?

  • Pinguecula is more likely to be caused to a person who has a higher exposure to sunlight (UV light).
  • If a person is involved in activity, including more exposure to dust, dryness, and wind, they are at a higher risk of getting a pinguecula.
  • Recent studies have revealed that people living near the equator and receiving more sunlight are more likely to get affected by pinguecula.

What Are The Symptoms Of The Pinguecula?

  • The most common and important symptom of pinguecula is the appearance of a yellow spot or a bump on the white part of the eyes. The shape of the spots may be either round or triangular.
  • A person may also experience some other symptoms of pinguecula like:-
  • Swelling and redness in the eyes.
  • Dryness of the eyes.
  • Feeling of itching sensation in the eyes
  • blurred vision
  • Always feel like there is some grit or sand in the eyes
  • Most people affected by the pinguecula often experience only mild symptoms.

What Are The Treatments Of The Pinguecula?

  • Generally, there is no need for treatment in most cases unless it starts causing a disturbance in your daily life.
  • If you feel discomfort and irritation in your eyes, you should consult the doctor. The doctor may prescribe you some eye drops and eye ointments for relieving the discomfort.
  •  If the appearance of the pinguecula is disturbing you, then you should consult your doctor for surgical removal of the pinguecula.
  • Surgery may be instructed in the cases when:-
  • Pinguecula is grown over the cornea. It will affect your vision. Your vision may become blurry in this case.
  • The inflammation caused by the pinguecula is not relieved after using the prescribed eye drops and ointments.
  • Pinguecula has become bigger and starts causing discomfort when you wear the contact lenses.

How To Prevent Pinguecula?

Below are listed some steps that people should try to prevent themselves from getting affected by pinguecula:-

  • Prevent eyes from drying out:.
  • Always wear protective eye gear: people should protect their eyes from dust particles and smoke matter. For this, they should wear appropriate protective eyeglasses.
  • Wearing wraparound sunglasses: Wraparound sunglasses are very efficient in blocking the harmful UV rays coming from the sun. Wraparound glasses block around 99 to 100% of UV rays.

What Are The Treatments Available For Pinguecula?

Patients with a higher degree of pinguecula are prescribed eye drops and eye ointments to relieve the pain. The doctor may also prescribe artificial tears, gels, or ointments to prevent the eyes from getting dry. These medicines are useful in decreasing the redness and irritation of the eyes. If the case is more severe, the doctor may also give some steroidal eye drops to ease the pain.

Pinguecula V/S Pterygium

Both pinguecula and pterygium are degenerative conditions often caused due to environmental factors in the eyes. Both are non-cancerous and occur near the cornea (clear outer layer in the front of the eyes). A pinguecula which grows over the cornea is known as pterygium.


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