Eye Care

Pinguecula: What is Pinguecula?

Have you noticed a small, yellowish nodule near the cornea? Have you been experiencing redness and irritation in the eyes? Chances are it’s a case of pinguecula.

What is Pinguecula?

Pinguecula is a benign growth of the lining on the sides of the eyelids and the eyeball. It is a common eye problem. It appears as a whitish or yellowish lump made of degenerated tissue or fat. It never grows on the cornea of the eye. The only prevention is to use good quality sunglasses and protect the eyes from irritants.

Causes of Pinguecula

The major causes of this eye problem are:

  • Chronic exposure to sunlight
  • Dry climate
  • Dust
  • Warm climate
  • Occupational hazards like welding
  • Spending a lot of time outdoors

Symptoms of Pinguecula

Following are the symptoms one might notice in pingueculae:

  • Burning of the eye
  • Stinging sensation in the eye
  • Redness
  • Irritation caused by wind, dust or smoke
  • Yellowish, tiny nodule near the cornea on the conjunctiva
  • Unpleasant looking eye

However, most people suffering from pinguecula do not show any severe symptoms.

Treatments for Pinguecula

After an eye examination, the doctor will be able to diagnose the problem. Generally, pinguecula doesn’t require any specific treatment. If the discomfort persists, the doctor might prescribe some lubrication of the eyes through artificial tears. Mild steroid eye drops can also prove helpful. In rare cases, the nodule can be removed surgically for cosmetic purpose or to treat discomfort.

Complications

Although the growth is non-cancerous, it might grow over the cornea and disturb vision. This only happens in rare cases. However, you should consult your health care provider in case you notice any change in the size, color or shape of the pinguecula.

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