What Is Pinguecula?
A pinguecula is an alteration of normal tissue resulting in a deposit of protein and fat in the conjunctiva, the thin membrane that covers the white part of the eye. Unlike a pterygium, a pingueculum does not actually grow onto the cornea.
Symptoms include the presence of a localized, raised lesion that appears yellowish in color on the white part of the eye. These raised areas are most often on the nose side of the eye and may become red and irritated. Also, a foreign body sensation may be present.
Pinquecula may be caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet light.
Risk factors include chronic eye irritation and excessive ultraviolet (UV) exposure.
Tests and Diagnosis
A pingueculum is typically diagnosed by a careful clinical examination.
Treatment and Drugs
No treatment is necessary unless the pingueculum becomes inflamed. A pingueculum does not grow on the cornea or threaten sight. If it is particularly annoying, a pingueculum may on rare occasions be surgically removed, but the post-operative scar may be as cosmetically objectionable as the pingueculum. Inflamed pinguecula can be treated with lubrication or other eye drops as needed.
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Reviewed by Jill E. Bixler, M.D.