A pinguecula is a growth on the conjunctiva overlying the sclera (white part) of the eye. They appear as yellowish raised nodules, usually on the inner or outer corner of the cornea. It is essentially a thickening of tissue that is prone to becoming inflamed and raised. They are not dangerous but when they become inflamed the eye might feel irritated, sore, and scratchy.
Pingueculae are a result of years of sun and environmental exposure. Sunglasses can protect your eyes from developing pingueculae and help existing ones from worsening. When your eyes are irritated and the pingueculae are inflamed, artificial tears are the best and safest drop to use. More severe cases can be treated with prescription anti-inflammatory drops. Pingueculae can be surgically removed but this is rarely performed because the growths are benign and the resulting scar can be just as bad as the growth itself.
*All photos are of patients seen and treated by Ronald E. Warwar, M.D.