General or Other | - Others | Pinguecula (Disease)


A pinguecula is a yellowish patch or bump on the conjunctiva, near the cornea. It most often appears on the side of the eye closest to the nose.

Causes and Risk factors

It is a change in the normal tissue that results in a deposit of protein, fat and/or calcium. It is similar to a callus on the skin. Is a common, non-cancerous growth of the clear, thin tissue (conjunctiva) that lays over the white part of the eye (sclera).

Diagnosis and Treatment

Usually no treatment is needed. Lubrication with artificial tears, and sometimes the temporary use of mild steroid eye drops can be helpful. Rarely, the growth may need to be removed if you have discomfort or for cosmetic reasons.

It is not known whether this condition can be prevented. It may help to wear good quality sunglasses and avoid eye irritants. Contact lens patients will blink and subsequently the eyelid movement can eject the contact lens. Rigid gas permeable lenses may leave a gap over the conjunctiva and edges of the cornea that dies out and damages the peripheral cornea epithelium surface cells and the conjunctival cells.

The edge of the gas permeable lens may also irritate the pinguecula and result in a chronic red eye when contact lenses are worn. This can often be resolved by changing the diameter or size of the gas permeable contact lens. Swelling in the pinguecula (known as pingueculitis) responds well to application of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or, if dictated, topical corticosteroids.

The accompanying dry eye symptoms can be treated with eye drops. When going outdoors, it will be prudent if you to cover your eyes from sunlight with an effective set of sunglasses. It is rarely necessary to intervene with pinguecula surgically.


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