Pingueculae are non-cancerous bumps on the eyeball and typically occur on top of the middle part of the sclera — the part that's between your eyelids and therefore is exposed to the sun. Usually pingueculae affect the surface of the sclera that's closer to the nose, but they can occur on the outer sclera (closer to the ear) as well.
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the primary cause of the development of pingueculae, but frequent exposure to dust and wind also appear to be be risk factors. Dry eye disease also may be a contributing factor and can promote the growth of pingueculae.
Signs And Symptoms
In most people, pingueculae don't cause many symptoms. But when they do, those symptoms usually stem from a disruption of the tear film. Because a pinguecula is a raised bump on the eyeball, the natural tear film may not spread evenly across the surface of the eye around it, causing dryness. This can cause dry eye symptoms, such as a burning sensation, stinging, itching, blurred vision and foreign body sensation.
If a pinguecula is mild but accompanied by dry eye irritation or foreign body sensation, lubricating eye drops may be prescribed to relieve symptoms.
Surgical removal of a pinguecula may be considered if it becomes especially uncomfortable, if it interferes with contact lens wear or blinking or if it is cosmetically bothersome.
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