Notice of Data Incident

Shared from AAO Written By Kierstan Boyd

Pinguecula and pterygium are growths on your eye’s conjunctiva, the clear covering over the white part of the eye.

Pinguecula is a yellowish, raised growth on the conjunctiva. It’s usually on the side of the eye near your nose, but can happen on the other side too. A pinguecula is a deposit of protein, fat, or calcium.

Pterygium is a growth of fleshy tissue (has blood vessels) that may start as a pinguecula. It can remain small or grow large enough to cover part of the cornea. When this happens, it can affect your vision.

Illustration of a pterygium (surfer's eye), a fleshy growth on the eye

Both pinguecula and pterygium are believed to be caused by a combination of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, wind and dust.

Avoiding pinguecula and pterygium

lf you have had a pinguecula or a pterygium at least once before, try to avoid the things that cause these growths. Here are some ways:

  • wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) light
  • protect your eyes from dust by wearing glasses or goggles
  • use artificial tears when your eyes are dry
What Is a Pinguecula and a Pterygium (Surfer's Eye)

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