Pinguecula & Pterygium

What Are Pinguecula and Pterygium?

Pinguecula and pterygium are both growths that appear on the conjunctiva, the clear covering over the white part of the eye. A pinguecula is a yellowish, slightly raised thickening of the conjunctiva. A pterygium, on the other hand, is a fleshy growth that may start as a pinguecula but can extend onto the cornea (the clear front covering of the eye). Both are thought to be caused by long-term exposure to UV light and dust.

Symptoms of Pinguecula and Pterygium:

Symptoms for both conditions can be similar and may include:

  • A noticeable growth on the white part of the eye
  • Redness or inflammation, particularly with pterygium
  • Irritation or feeling of a foreign body in the eye
  • Dryness or itching sensation
  • Blurry vision if the pterygium grows over the cornea

Treatment for Pinguecula and Pterygium:

Treatment often depends on the severity of the symptoms:

  • Mild Cases: Usually managed with lubricating eye drops or mild steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation.
  • For Pterygium: If it grows to the point of interfering with vision or becomes excessively irritating, surgical removal may be recommended.
  • Surgical Options: When necessary, surgery for pterygium involves removing the growth and replacing it with a graft of conjunctival tissue.

Prevention of Pinguecula and Pterygium:

The best way to prevent these conditions is to protect your eyes from UV light and dust:

  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection when outdoors.
  • Use a hat with a brim to shield your eyes from sunlight.
  • Avoid environments with excessive dust or wind when possible.
  • Keep the eyes well-lubricated, especially in dry conditions.

To learn more about pinguecula and pterygium, their causes, diagnosis, and surgical options, visit your optometrist.

Please note that this information is provided for informational purposes only and should not substitute professional medical advice. If you suspect you have any eye-related concerns, it is important to consult with an eye care professional for a proper evaluation and personalized recommendations.