Did you know?
A pinguecula is a small, white to yellowish bump located only on the conjunctiva. If you think you have pinguecula, give your local store a call for more information or see your doctor.
Signs and symptoms of pinguecula
Most people with a pinguecula won’t experience any symptoms. But it is possible for the bump that a pinguecula creates on the eye’s surface can interfere with how the tear film is spread across the eye, which can lead to dry eyes.
Other symptoms of pinguecula include red eyes and eye irritation.
Pingueculae develop as a normal part of the ageing process and most people by the age of 70 are likely to have one.
The main cause of a pinguecula is long-term exposure to UV radiation from the sun. So if you spend a lot of time outside, you’re more likely to develop a pinguecula.
Other causes can include chronic irritation from wind or dust, and sometimes contact lens wear may be a contributing factor to the condition.
Treatment options for pinguecula
- The majority of pinguecula cases don’t require any treatment. If you also experience accompanying symptoms of dry eye syndrome, or it feels like there’s something in your eye, lubricating eye drops can help to relieve symptoms.
- Wearing sunglasses or contact lenses with UV blocking filters may help to protect the pinguecula from further exposure to UV light.
- In the very rare event that a pinguecula becomes increasingly uncomfortable or inflamed, it may be necessary to have it removed with surgery.
Prevention of pinguecula
You can help prevent pinguecula from developing by wearing sunglasses with UV protection and a hat when you’re outdoors, especially if you spend a lot of time on the water or snow.
How serious is pinguecula?
The vast majority of pinguecula cases are harmless and only require simple treatment, like eye drops.