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What is a Pinguecula?
Pinguecula is a yellowish, raised growth on the conjunctiva. It’s usually on the side of the eye near your nose, but can happen on the other side too. A pinguecula is a deposit of protein, fat, or calcium.
What Is a Pterygium?
Pterygium is a growth of fleshy tissue (has blood vessels) that may start as a pinguecula. It can remain small or grow large enough to cover part of the cornea. When this happens, it can affect your vision.
Symptoms of pinguecula and pterygium can range from mild to severe and include:
- Blurry vision
- Redness of the eye
- Dry, itchy, burning eyes
- A yellow spot or bump on the white of your eye
- Foreign body sensation or feeling like sand or grit is stuck in your eye
What’s the Treatment?
Pinguecula TreatmentDrops to lubricate your eyes can help relieve irritation from pinguecula. They also help relieve that annoying feeling as if you have something in your eye. If pinguecula causes redness and swelling in your eye, your doctor may prescribe steroid eye drops. Usually eye drops can relieve any discomfort from pinguecula, and surgery is usually not recommended or needed.
Pterygium TreatmentDr. Gelman can treat the discomfort, redness or swelling from a pterygium with lubricating or steroid eye drops. If a pterygium grows large enough to cause problems, Dr. Gelman will probably recommend surgery to remove it. Once the pterygium is removed, Dr. Gelman was utilize techniques to help reduce the chance that your pterygium will grow back. But the best way to keep pinguecula and pterygium from coming back is to avoid sunlight, dryness and dust.
What Causes These Growths?
Both pinguecula and pterygium are believed to be caused by a combination of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, wind and dust.
How Can I Avoid Pinguecula and Pterygium?
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) light
- Protect your eyes from dust by wearing glasses or goggles
- Use artificial tears when your eyes are dry