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What are Pinguecula and Pterygium and How to Treat Them?

What are Pinguecula and Pterygium and How to Treat Them?

Eye Problems


Eye problems can be sensitive and should be dealt with as soon as possible. If not, they may worsen with time and cause severe complications. Visit the best eye specialist near you before your eyes diseases reach a stage where you may lose your vision.

What are Pinguecula and Pterygium?

A pinguecula is a deposit of fat, calcium, and protein. It is a non-cancerous or benign type of growth on the white part of the eye that looks like a yellow bump or spot. It mostly appears on the side of the eye nearest to the nose. You may develop this condition at any age. However, they are mainly found in middle-aged and elderly people.

A pterygium may start as a pinguecula, and as it grows, it can vary in its appearance (from pink and small to angry red and large) with dry eye symptoms. It may gradually cause visual disturbances by disrupting the smooth surface of the cornea. It can occur in both eyes and can even block the vision altogether in severe cases. This condition is very common in people whose jobs expose them to UV light or those living in sunny areas.

What are the Causes of Pinguecula and Pterygium?

A pinguecula can be caused by changes in the conjunctiva tissue. Such changes are linked to irritation caused by dust, wind, and exposure to the sun, whereas pterygium can be caused by exposure to large amounts of ultra-violet light.

What Are the Symptoms of pinguecula and pterygium?

Pinguecula can cause you to have mild to severe symptoms. These can include:

  • Dryness
  • Itching
  • Redness or inflammation in the eye
  • Irritation in the eye

Pterygium often doesn’t cause symptoms, but when it does, they are mild and may include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Irritation in the eye
  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Burning sensation

How are Pinguecula and Pterygium Treated?

Unless pinguecula causes any discomfort, it does not require any type of treatment. However, if your eye begins to hurt a lot, the doctor may prescribe certain eye drops or eye ointment to relieve irritation or redness. Furthermore, you can have a word with the doctor about having it removed surgically if its appearance makes you feel uncomfortable. In most cases, it is required for the pinguecula to be removed immediately. Surgery can be considered as an option if the pinguecula:

  • Causes excessive discomfort when you try to wear contact lenses
  • Affects the vision by growing over the cornea
  • Is severely and constantly inflamed
  • When eye ointments or eye drops do not seem to bring down the pain

In the case of pterygium, if it does not continue to grow onto the cornea, then its growth can be stabilized by protecting the eyes from UV light. Furthermore, if it does not become a threat to the vision, this may be all that is required. You can even manage the condition with eye drops, as it is often effective. Surgery for pterygium is only considered when troublesome symptoms show up. In case it threatens to distort the vision, the only effective treatment is pterygium surgery.

What Are the Differences Between Pinguecula and Pterygium?

Though both pinguecula and pterygium are types of growths that can form on the eye and share some more similarities, there are also some noteworthy differences between them.

Pinguecula is a yellowish elevated lump or a bump that does not grow across the cornea, whereas pterygium is a fleshy triangular mass that extends to the cornea. It can also change the shape of the cornea, which causes changes in the vision. Pinguecula only develops on the side of the eye and doesn’t grow to a bigger size. Furthermore, a pinguecula does not harm the vision, whereas pterygium may grow over months to years until it covers the cornea. This can interfere with the vision and cause further harm to it.

See Also: Preventing The Most Common Eye Problems and Eye Diseases

Visit Your Nearest Eye Specialist at Netralayam  

Eyecare is essential for overall health. The eyes are complex, and knowing how each part of the eye works can help you recognize the vision problems along with symptoms of various eye diseases. You can also get early treatment and maintain the health of your eyes.

Are you looking for the “best eye specialist” or “best eye hospital near me” in Kolkata? At Netralayam, we can provide you with high-quality services and treatment for all eye conditions. Contact our medical team to know more.



The mission of Netralayam is to provide tertiary level superspeciality eye care service of highest quality to all sections of the society through a team of competent, committed and compassionate professionals in a patient-friendly environment.

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