Pinguecula: Causes & Treatment Options

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Mac 6, 2023

Have you noticed a yellowish discolouration in your eye? Or has your vision gotten blurry as the redness and swelling increase in your eye? 

If so, you may have a common eye condition that occurs at any age, mainly middle-aged and older people called pinguecula. Pinguecula disease is a sign that your eyes aren’t working as well as they should, making it difficult to read or see clearly.

A pinguecula is an eye growth that is benign and noncancerous. Pinguecula is the plural noun of these yellowish growths that emerge close to your cornea (a transparent layer that lies over your pupil and iris), seen on the conjunctiva, the thin tissue layer that encircles the white of the eye.

What Causes Pinguecula?

A pinguecula forms when the tissue in your conjunctiva changes, creating a small bump that contains fat, calcium, or both.

A pinguecula may often develop in people who are frequently exposed to the sun’s UV radiation. Pingueculae are more common in people who live close to the equator, where the sun’s rays are the strongest, A.K.A Malaysians!

The chance of getting a pinguecula may also rise with high exposure to dryness, dust, and wind. So please be sure to guard yourself against such exposure as much as you can!

Pinguecula vs Pterygium

Did you know that if a pinguecula grows, it may turn into another type of benign growth? It’s called a pterygium.

A pterygium develops on the conjunctiva of the eye, just like a pinguecula does. A pterygium, however, contains its own blood vessels, and is oftentimes larger and might be red, pink, or yellow because of this.

Because a pterygium may cause more symptoms than a pinguecula, the likelihood of your vision being interfered with is high. 

With help from an eye doctor, many people are able to control the signs and symptoms of pterygium. To remove such a condition, however, a person may need surgery. Unfortunately, even after surgery, a pterygium may start to grow again.

What Is The Treatment For Pinguecula?

A pinguecula typically doesn’t require treatment until it hurts. If your eye does ache, your doctor may prescribe eye drops or ointment to reduce inflammation and redness. Other than that, you may want to try wearing wraparound sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat. Besides protective eye gear, managing dry eyes can be of help too!

If the discomfort persists, then discussing with an optometrist to surgically remove it would be ideal. In some cases, the growth might need to be removed. 

Typically, surgery is considered when a pinguecula grows over your cornea, affecting your vision that causes extreme discomfort. Even after applying eye drops or ointments, if your condition does not subside and is severely inflamed, consulting your eye doctor would be necessary.

Normally, a pinguecula doesn’t cause any issues and complications following surgery are uncommon. Much like a pterygium, pingueculae can reoccur. To help prevent this, your doctor may prescribe medicine or administer radiation to the skin which would be helpful.

The Final Say

Sometimes when you see something yellow doesn’t mean you have to slow down, especially regarding your vision!

Solution? Find a team of highly trained experts ready to answer all your worries while being effective as well as affordable. Luckily, VISTA Eye is a vision care clinic with an aim to provide the best possible eye care and treatment available, while still being compassionate, understanding and caring. From the first visit to the last one, we promise to be with you every step of the way!

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