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Pinguecula: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Aug 01, 2023

Pinguecula: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

A pinguecula is a raised, yellowish growth on the conjunctiva of your eye. The transparent membrane that covers the white of your eye is known as the conjunctiva.

In most people, the pinguecula develops on the inner side of the white portion of the eye, close to the nose. However, it might also show up on the other side of your eye.

A pinguecula is an accumulation of calcium, protein, fat, or any two of these components. It could be little, triangular, or spherical, and barely noticeable. With time, it might expand.

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Causes Of Pinguecula

A pinguecula develops when the tissue in your conjunctiva changes and produces a little bump. These lumps may include calcium, fat, or both.

The elastin fibers, which are plentiful in the conjunctival tissue, are degenerating as a result of lifetime sun exposure. Think of the degradation and snapping of taught rubber bands. Frequent exposure to wind or dust is associated to the alteration in tissue.

Pingueculae also seem to increase in frequency as people age.

Symptoms Of Pinguecula

A yellow spot or bump over the white areas of on one or both eyes is the primary sign of a pinguecula. It may be a triangle or a sphere-shaped region.

A pinguecula typically only causes moderate symptoms in its victims. The following signs may occasionally affect one or both eyes in a person:

  • Edema
  • Redness
  • Dryness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • A sensation of sand in the eyes
  • Blurred vision

Diagnosis Of Pinguecula

If a person notices any changes in their eyes, they should make an appointment to see a doctor. The general practitioner might then suggest an eye expert, such as an ophthalmologist or an optometrist.

The eye doctor may examine the eye using a special light and a magnifying lens. Using this method, a pinguecula can commonly be found and diagnosed.

Treatment Of Pinguecula

Pingueculae typically don't need to be treated. If the growth is causing uncomfortable symptoms, a person can try over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications.

Surgery is often only performed on pingueculae that seriously irritate the eyes and those that are cosmetically problematic.

These therapeutic options are described in more detail in the sections that follow.

OTC drugs

For symptoms including dryness, burning, and itching, over-the-counter eye drops may be beneficial. Some eye drops that are marketed as "artificial tears" function similarly to natural tears in lubricating the eyes.

Preservatives are present in many fake tears. Some folks may have eye irritation from them. If someone does have eye irritation, they should think about utilising single-use vials of preservative-free drops.

There are additional eye ointments available. Compared to artificial tears, these tend to stay in the eye longer. They may therefore be appropriate for more severe cases of pain and dryness.

People should disclose any eye drops they use to their ophthalmologist.

Medications on Prescription

If over-the-counter eye drops and ointments are ineffective at treating pinguecula symptoms, a doctor can suggest trying prescription eye drops.

Steroid-containing eye drops can reduce swelling and irritation. They might also aid in easing the uncomfortable sensation of grit or sand in the eyes.

If OTC or prescription medications are unable to provide symptom alleviation, surgery may be an alternative. For aesthetic purposes, some people could want to have a pinguecula removed.

A surgeon will remove the pinguecula during the surgery. They will then apply a piece of healthy conjunctiva to the place where they removed the pinguecula using a specific adhesive.

Prevention Of Pinguecula

People should take precautions to protect their eyes from the sun because it appears that sunlight poses a danger for developing pingueculae. Along with cataracts and cancer, this helps avoid other eye diseases.

A person can do the following measures to shield their eyes from sunshine and other irritants:

  • By donning wraparound sunglasses, one can completely or nearly completely block UV radiation. Even when it's overcast, raining, or snowing outdoors, people should wear them every time they step outside or into a car.
  • A wide-brimmed hat can assist shield the face and eyes from the sun's rays.
  • Putting on eye protection: When working in a dusty or dirty workplace, people should put on safety goggles or other suitable eye protection.
  • Managing dry eyes: If you have dry eyes, talk to your doctor about the several eye drops you can use to keep your eyes moisturized.

These precautions might also aid in preventing a pinguecula from returning after being surgically removed.

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