ZocdocAnswersI just got diagnosed with pinguecula. What should I do now?

Question

I just got diagnosed with pinguecula. What should I do now?

I am 40 and just got the bad news that I have pinguecula in my left eye. What does this really mean?

Answer

A pinguecula, although a scary sounding condition, is not as serious as it sounds so the first thing to do is to take a deep breath. They are actually fairly common. It is defined as a noncancerous growth of the conjunctiva, which is the mucus membrane lining the eyeball and underside of the eyelids. It appears as a small yellowish nodule near the cornea. It is usually on the side close to your nose. The cause is unclear but it is thought to be due to sun exposure (as it is more prevalent in tropical climates) and irritation of the eyes. Pinguecula occur most often in those over 40. It is a benign condition that usually requires no treatment. It may increase in size very slowly over many years. Lubrication with artificial tears might help any discomfort. Temporary discontinuation of contact lenses or a change in the type of lenses that you wear might be necessary. Occasionally mild steroid eye drops are needed to decrease the inflammation. It is important to see an ophthalmologist to have a full eye examination and to discuss appropriate treatment for your particular case. Make sure to always protect your eyes from the sun with UV blocking sunglasses.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.