So you didn’t know that you can get pimples on the whites of your eyes? Well, if you notice a raised yellowish bump on your eye, there is no call for alarm. A pinguecula is a common, non-cancerous growth of the mucus membrane lining the eyeball and underside of the eyelids.
In most people, a pinguecula creates no symptoms. However, burning or stinging of the eye may occur in some cases. Occasionally, a pinguecula may become reddened and irritated by smoke, dust, or wind. Although the eye may be unpleasant looking, a pinguecula does not interfere with sight. However, if left untreated, it may grow over the cornea and impair vision over time.
While pinguecula are more common in middle-aged or older people who spend a lot of time in the sun, they can also be found in younger people and even children — especially those who are often outdoors without protection such as sunglasses or hats.
Lubricating eye drops may be prescribed to relieve dry eye irritation and foreign body sensation. Steroid eye drops may be needed to relieve significant inflammation and swelling. Rarely, the growth may need to be removed if you have discomfort or for cosmetic reasons.
There is no known method of preventing a pinguecula. However, a prudent precaution is to protect the eye from unnecessary sun exposure by wearing protective eyewear with good ultraviolet blockage, or at least a rimmed hat.
If you want to start at the beginning of the series, go here.
If you have any further questions feel free to contact Houston OBGYN Dr. Lisa Otey for more information or an appointment.
For more on similar topics check out our Women’s Health Blog.