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    Pinguecula and Pterygium (Surfer's Eye)

Pinguecula and Pterygium (Surfer's Eye)

​​What causes pinguecula?

Pinguecula is deposits of protein, calcium, or fat and appears as small yellow or white bumps on the white area of the eye. Pinguecula is caused by changes in your conjunctiva tissue due to irritation caused by UV exposure, dust and wind. Pinguecula can cause eye irritation, dryness, itching, and redness in the eye if not treated. Pinguecula is very common, especially for those people who spend a lot of time outside in the sun.

How long does pinguecula last?

Unfortunately, pinguecula is not something that can heal itself unless it is treated correctly. Depending on the severity of how far it has grown, pinguecula may be treated with eye drops and will last two to four weeks for it to heal with these drops. However, in most cases, pinguecula isn't something that usually can be healed with eye drops and needs surgery - in which the healing process takes up to a month.

How to get rid of pinguecula?

Mast majority of cases have symptoms which are mild and require lubrication or anti inflammatory eye drops but it is important to note that they are not reversible with these drops. It is possible to get rid of pinguecula completely through surgery if it causes serious discomfort or is aesthetically unappealing. The procedure is a minor surgery and takes a short time to complete between 10-20 minutes, the recovery process after this will take some time between 4-6 weeks.

What is pterygium?

A pterygium is a raised, almost wave-like-shaped growth of the conjunctiva that extends onto the outer layer of the eye. It is also commonly known as surfers eye as it is common amongst surfers as they are mostly exposed to the sun and wind. Both pterygium and pinguecula is very common and similar to one another however have some fundamental differences. Those who have pterygium will see that the tissue that is growing on their eye will reach out towards cornea, which is the coloured top layer of your iris, whereas pinguecula is the growth of a small white or yellow bump on the white area of the eye. Pterygium can lead to astigmatism, which will make your vision very blurry and decrease night vision. Pterygium can be removed through surgery but does have a possibility to regrow which is why it is important to use UV protection at all times.

What causes pterygium?

Pterygium is also caused by damage from the sun and wind. Pterygium can be prevented with frequent lubrication, this hydrates the eye and keeps it from getting dry.