Effective Treatment to Relieve Irritation Caused by Pinguecula
A pinguecula is a small, benign growth that can develop on the eye. In most cases, a pinguecula will cause only minor discomfort that can be successfully treated with eye drops. Contact us today to learn more.
A pinguecula is a fairly common, non-cancerous growth that forms on the conjunctiva, or white tissue near the cornea. It is a yellowish patch or bump, and typically forms on the inner side of the eye, near the nose. A pinguecula is caused by changes in your conjunctiva tissue. These changes have been linked to irritation caused by sun exposure, dust, and wind, and are more common as we age. These bumps or growths may contain a combination of protein, fat, or calcium, or a combination of the three.
Unlike a pterygium, a pinguecula will appear as a small, yellowish bump or growth, and not a weblike layer of tissue and veins. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include:
- Eye irritation, or the sensation that you have something in your eye
- Itching, redness, and inflammation in the eye
Spending a significant amount of your time outdoors, either for work or for hobbies, can increase your risk of developing a pinguecula. To minimize your risk, Broberg Eye Center recommends wearing sunglasses that provide both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) protection. Sunglasses also offer some protection against other elements, such as wind and sand, dirt, and other particles that can get into your eyes and cause damage. If you work in an overly dry or dusty environment, wearing protective eyewear can help. Regular use of artificial tears can help keep your eyes moistened and reduce irritation as well.
Our doctors can typically diagnose a pinguecula through an eye exam alone. We may use a slit-lamp, which allows us to closely examine all the areas of your eye. This tool gives us the ability to spot abnormalities and determine the severity of the growth. The closer a pinguecula is to your cornea, the more potential there is for the growth to affect your vision.
Pinguecula treatment may involve eye drops for minor cases or surgical removal for more serious conditions that may affect the vision. Our doctors prescribe medical-strength eye drops and ointments when necessary and use the safest and most advanced surgical methods when surgery is required. If you notice a small bump in the white area of your eye, you may have a pinguecula that needs treatment. Our doctors can diagnose pinguecula with a simple eye exam at our Austin, TX, office.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options
Changes in the conjunctiva tissue of the eye can lead to the formation of a pinguecula. As we age, our conjunctiva tissue changes, making us more susceptible to growths like pinguecula. Environmental factors, such as dust, wind, or sun exposure, can also contribute to these changes.
Pinguecula are usually yellow in color and form on the white portion of the eye closest to the nose. The most common symptom is a feeling of an eyelash or other debris in your eye. Your eye may also feel dry or itchy and appear red or inflamed.
The vast majority of pinguecula cases are mild and require non-surgical treatments like eye drops. After our doctors have conducted a full examination of the eye, they can prescribe eye drops or topical ointments.
Surgical Pinguecula Treatment
Less frequently, surgery is recommend to remove the pinguecula. We may recommend surgical treatment when the growth:
- Is close to the cornea, threatening to affect vision
- Causes serious discomfort
- Makes wearing contact lenses uncomfortable or makes them fit incorrectly
- Affects the aesthetics of the eye
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