A pinguecula is a yellowish patch or bump on the conjunctiva, near the cornea. It most often appears on the side of the eye closest to the nose. It is a change in the normal tissue that results in a deposit of protein, fat and/or calcium. They are non cancerous growths on the cornea and conjuntiva.
A pterygium (also Known surfer´s eye or farmer´s eye) is a benign winged-shaped growth of tissue that can expand over the cornea. It may remain small or may grow large enough to interfere with visión or cause astigmatism. It may become red and swollen on occasion. A pterygium most commonly grows from the nasal corner of the eye.
What causes pterygium?
The exact cause is not fully understood. Pterygium is most common in people who spend lots of time outdoors or who live in sunny and arid climates. Long-term exposure to sunlight, especially ultraviolet (UV) rays, and chronic eye irritation from dry, dusty conditions are considered the primary contributing factors. Other eye irritants such as allergens and hazardous chemicals may also play a role.
How is pterygium treated?
Protecting your eyes from excessive ultraviolet light with proper sunglasses, wearing a hat and avoiding dry and dusty conditions can be the best way to reduce unwanted symptoms.
When a pterygium becomes red and irritated, eye drops or ointments may be used to reduce the inflammation.
If the pterygium becomes large enough to threaten your vision or causes significant discomfort, surgery may be necessary.
How is it surgically removed?
Surgery is minimally invasive and takes roughly 20-30 minutes. The pterygium is first carefully peeled, then a tissue graft is harvested from beneath your upper eyelid and placed over the removal site to reduce the chance of recurrence. The graft is usually secured with tissue glue and rarely needs sutures. The site where the tissue is harvested heals on its own. Pterygium surgery generally has excellent outcomes. However, despite complete surgical removal, the pterygium may return.