Pinguecula and pterygium 06/04/2013
Pinguecula is a yellowy-white stain or protuberance on the conjunctiva, commonly located at the inner part of the eye closest to the nose. It is a change in the normal tissue resulting in a deposit of protein, fat and/or calcium.
This is a degenerative lesion of the conjunctiva which appears as a consequence of exposure to ultraviolet light but is also related to other harmful elements such as welding and eye inflammation and irritation. The stains or protuberances can gradually grow in size over a prolonged period of time.
Medical treatment is limited to using lubricating therapy to relieve the eye's irritation. It's important to protect oneself from solar radiation.
Surgery is only recommended for this disorder when the stain or protuberance represents an aesthetic problem or, rarely, when the cornea is inflamed or when the injury interferes with the use of contact lenses.
Pterygium is the growth of fleshy tissue over the conjunctiva that can reach the cornea. This growth might stop and remain small or become large enough to interfere with vision.
The appearance of pterygium is closely correlated with exposure to ultraviolet rays although dryness, inflammation and exposure to wind, dust and other irritants can also be involved. It is almost always preceded by a case of pinguecula. The incidence of pterygium increases in regions located close to the equator.
Extraction of the pterygium is recommended when eyesight is threatened, when there is considerable irritation or for aesthetic reasons.
To avoid recurrence it is important to correctly hydrate the surface of the eye, protect it from the sun and other situations that might irritate it.
Dr. Paula Verdaguer, M.D. PhD
COMB license number: 40.737
Specialising in cornea, refractive surgery and cataracts