Pinguecula is a relatively common degenerative condition in the cornea. It is characterized by yellowish deposits of fat in the conjunctiva of the eye. The conjunctiva is the inner lining of the eyelids and helps to produce tears to lubricate the eye. (Photo Credit: milesresearch.com)
The condition is most evident in old age patients and those who have been exposed to high levels of sunlight. It usually requires no treatment, however they may enlarge, at which point surgical excision can be performed. Some people often report feeling as if they have something in their eye, which can be very troublesome. In some cases, the pinguecula may become infected, a condition called pingueculitis. This can be very painful and causes symptoms such as irritation, soreness and redness. In some cases pinguecula can form pterygia, which are growths of fibrous tissue on the surface of the eye.
Treatment of pingueculitis is usually lubricating eye drops, in more severe cases non-steroidal eye drops may be used to reduce any swelling or inflammation.
It is important that when out in the sun we protect our eyes as much as possible to prevent the formation of pingueculae.