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What Is A Pinguecula And Is It A Serious Problem?

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If you have a strange yellow spot in the sclera of one of your eyes, then you may have a common ophthalmologic condition called a pinguecula. For most people, a pinguecula doesn't cause any major problems. However, you may notice some minor problems and may need to make a few adjustments. Here is more information about pingueculae, whether they are something to worry about, and the problems and inconvenience they cause.

What Is a Pinguecula?

A pinguecula is a non-cancerous, raised yellow patch on the cornea. They are most often located over the sclera closest to your nose and tear duct. However, they are occasionally seen on the opposite side of the eye. Most pingueculae stay small but noticeable. A Pinguecula is most commonly seen in middle-aged and older people, but anyone of any age can get them.

Why Does a Pinguecula Form?

The causes of a pinguecula are not known exactly. It is thought that it is the result of a conjunctiva breakdown. It tends to form in people who spend a lot of time in the sun without eye protection. Therefore, ultraviolet light is a suspected factor. People who engage in certain activities, such as welding, are also more likely to have one. They also show up frequently in people whose eyes are exposed to a lot of dust or dirt.

What Problems Does a Pinguecula Cause?

For most people, a pinguecula causes only minimal problems. For example, you may not be able to comfortably wear regular contact lenses. Also, the raised bump could interfere with your eye's normal tear functions. This can cause an uncomfortable condition called dry eye syndrome. If the pinguecula is large, then they may interfere with normal blinking.

When Should One See an Ophthalmologist for a Pinguecula?

Generally, you should not need treatment for a pinguecula. If your pinguecula causes dry eye discomfort, then an ophthalmologist can prescribe eye drops to reduce inflammation. If you are a contact lens wearer, then you may need to change to larger scleral lenses to cover the bump. Surgery is also an option, but reserved for severe cases that interfere with vision. A pinguecula has a high chance of return after surgery, so it is a treatment of last resort.

Any time you see a strange growth or color on your eyeball's surface, visit an ophthalmology eye care professional for proper diagnosis and treatment. Make sure you see your eye doctor on a regular basis even if you don't have any vision problems. That way, potential problems are diagnosed and treated early before they affect your vision. To learn more information about pingueculas, reach out to a company such as Idaho Eye and Laser Center.