MSD Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

honeypot link

Pinguecula and Pterygium

By

Melvin I. Roat

, MD, FACS, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Last full review/revision Apr 2021
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
GET THE QUICK FACTS
Topic Resources

Pinguecula and pterygium are fleshy growths on the conjunctiva Overview of Conjunctival and Scleral Disorders The conjunctiva is the membrane that lines the eyelid and loops back to cover the sclera (the tough white fiber layer covering the eye), right up to the edge of the cornea (the clear layer in... read more (the membrane that lines the eyelid and covers the white of the eye). A pinguecula does not overlap the cornea (the clear layer in front of the iris and pupil), but a pterygium does.

An Inside Look at the Eye

An Inside Look at the Eye

A pinguecula is a raised yellowish white growth next to, but not overlapping, the cornea. This growth can be unsightly, but it typically does not cause any significant problems and does not need to be removed.

A pterygium is a fleshy growth of the conjunctiva that spreads across onto the cornea. Most pterygia do not cause symptoms, but sometimes they cause irritation or distort the shape of the cornea, possibly causing a decrease in vision, and it can also be a cosmetic concern.

To relieve symptoms caused by a pterygium, doctors may prescribe artificial tears or a short period of treatment with corticosteroid drops or ointments. If the symptoms do not lessen, particularly if vision is affected, or they return frequently, the pterygium may be removed surgically. Growth of a pterygium can be slowed with protection from sunlight, such as when wearing sufficiently protective sunglasses (with UV blocking) and/or a hat.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Test your knowledge
Eyes, Bulging
Patients with bulging eyes have eyes that protrude further from their sockets than normal, causing a wide-eyed appearance. With bulging eyes, an individual may seem to be staring or may look surprised or frightened. Which of the following is the cause of most cases of bulging eyes in adults?
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Also of Interest

Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
TOP