Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

A pinguecula is a yellowish patch or patch on the white of the eye, most often on the side closest to the nose. It is not a tumor, but an alteration of normal tissue resulting in a deposit of protein and fat. A pinguecula does not actually grow onto the cornea. A pinguecula may also be a response to chronic eye irritation or sunlight.

The causes of pinguecula are not clearly established. There is sound evidence, however, that the disease is strongly associated with chronic, long-term exposure to the blue and ultraviolet bands of the light spectrum. It is not coincidental that they are often found around the meridian of the cornea, which is the part most bared to sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation burns cells in the cornea and conjunctiva, especially when levels of the protective antioxidants glutathione (A tripeptide of glycine, L-cysteine, and L-glutamate, with L-glutamate having an isopeptide bond with the amino moiety of L-cysteine) and astaxanthin are depleted.

Other potential causes include irritation from dry air, dust, smoke or wind. These factors will also make existing symptoms worse. If you live in a hot climate and/or spend a lot of time outdoors you are also more likely to develop pinguecula.

Pinguecula is also associated with increasing age. Pinguecula have grown in most eyes by age 70 and in nearly all eyes by age 80. This is probably due to progressive degeneration of the conjunctiva, as a result of aging, a history of inflammations, chronic irritation, and dryness of the eyes.

If you have immediate family members with pinguecula, you may also be more likely to develop these growths.


Symptoms may include:

    A yellowish, raised bump on the conjunctiva.

  • Eye irritation.

  • Gritty feeling.

  • Blurred vision.

  • Dryness and soreness in eye.

  • Eye inflammation.

  • Eye Redness.

  • Sensation that something is in the eye

  • Eye watering.

  • Light sensitivity.


Pinguecula can often be seen with the naked eye; however, the doctor diagnosethe growth with a careful examination with a slit lamp microscope.


In many cases, no treatment is necessary unless the area becomes inflamed. A pinguecula does not usually grow onto the cornea or threaten sight. Lubrication with artificial tears, and sometimes the temporary use of mild steroid eye drops can be helpful. If particularly annoying, a pinguecula may on rare occasions be surgically removed, but the postoperative scar may be as cosmetically objectionable as the pinguecula.

Preventive Measures:

    Adequately protecting your eyes from excessive UV light with proper sunglasses;

  • Protecting your eyes in dry, dusty conditions with proper eyewear.

  • Applying artificial tears to your eyes in dry conditions.

Disclaimer: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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