Pinguecula- A pinguecula is excessive tissue that grows on the eye at the junction of the sclera (white area of the eye) and the cornea (clear part of the eye just in front of the iris). This appears as a slightly yellow area of tissue typically at 3 or 9 o’clock and can become red and irritated in windy or dry environments. Pinguecula typically grow secondary to UV light exposure.
Treatments of Pinguecula are centered around stopping the growth of the new tissue. We advise our patients to wear sunglasses while outside. We also have our patients use an over the counter drop (such as soothe, refresh, or optive) if the tissue becomes red and irritated.
Pterygium- Similar to a pinguecula, a pterygium (ter-ij-ium) typically grows secondary to UV light. Unlike a pinguecula, a pterygium can extend onto the corneal tissue of the eye and cause changes in vision. Pterygium can make contact lens wear difficult and can be very concerning for the patient because other people can easily see the tissue.
Similar to Pinguecula, we ask our patients to use over the counter drops (such as soothe, refresh, or optive) if the tissue becomes red and irritated. We also ask our patients to wear sunglasses while they are outdoors. Pinguecula can also be removed by a qualified surgeon, however a recurrence rate of 5-25% can occur.