Pterygium pronounced as “tur-rae-gium” and pinguecula “pin-gwek-yoo-la” are the growths on the cornea ( the clear front view of the eye ) and the conjunctiva, thin and light membrane that covers the white part of your eye, sclera.
Both type of growths are believed to be caused by dry eye and environmental factors such as wind , dust and UV (ultraviolet light) .
What is the difference between a Pterygium and Pinguecula?
A pterygium is a growth of fleshy tissue on the conjunctiva that spreads over the cornea. This growth may remain small or grow larger to obstruct the vision.
A pinguecula is a yellowish area or lump on the conjunctiva, mostly on the side closest to the nose. It is a change in the normal skin that results in a deposit of protein, fats or calcium. It is similar to a bump on the skin.
Symptoms of Both from mild to severe
Symptoms of pterygium include persistent redness, inflammation, burning, foreign body sensation, tearing, which can cause bleeding, dry and itchy eyes. In progressive cases the pterygium can affect vision as it enters the cornea with the potential of complicating the cornea and may cause astigmatism or cornea scarring.
Treatment for Pterygium and Pinguecula
No treatment is needed. When a pterygium or pinguecula becomes red and irritation occurs, eyedrops or ointment can be used to reduce inflammation. If the growth becomes larger and obstruct the vision or cause discomfort, they can addressed by surgery. They are sometimes also removed due to cosmetic reasons.
Despite proper surgical removal, pterygium or pinguecula may return. Surface contaminations or medication are sometimes used to help prevent recurrences. However, the best way to avoid it is to limit exposures to the environmental factors that contribute to the growth.
- Protecting your eyes from excessive UV light with sunglasses.
- Protecting your eyes in dry dusty conditions with proper care like wearing the right eyewear.
- Apply artificial tears to your eyes in dry moist conditions.