Pinguecula (Yellow Spot on Eye) – Definition, Causes and Removal – Eye Love Cares

yellow spot on eye

If you’re suffering from a pinguecula, or a yellow spot on your eye, you may think that there is a serious problem.

The good news is that it isn’t usually something you need to worry about. Most people find they have a pinguecula when there is a yellow spot on their eye. It may start off very small, but it can grow to be quite big if given the time.

No one wants to have something wrong with their eye, and the sooner that you can get some help, the better.

The important thing with a pinguecula is prevention. Treating a pinguecula is very tough, and it can even be impossible. You may want to see a doctor to get advice on what you can do to treat it. However, if you’re looking for a general overview of everything pinguecula, this is it for you.

Your eyes are the windows to your soul, and the beauty of your soul should be reflected in them. If you have a yellow spot on your eye, this is not only annoying, but it can cause some problems with your eyes. This is your guide to everything you need to know about pinguecula so that you can get rid of it for good.

Related: Punctal Plugs for Dry Eyes


What Is A Pinguecula?

yellow spot on eye

While it may be a hard word to pronounce, it isn’t too hard on your health. In fact, this yellow spot on the eye is usually completely harmless.

A pinguecula shows itself as a yellow spot on the eye. However, it’s not that the white of the eye has suddenly yellowed. This is usually a raised spot on the eye that is a little yellowish. It can be bumpy or lumpy, and it will usually appear near the corner of the iris, on the white part of the eye. These spots are beneath your clear conjunctiva. Usually, they will show themselves on the sclera, which is the middle white part that is between your eyelids. It is often exposed to a lot of light. A lot of the time the pinguecula is closest to your nose, but there are occasions when it appears on the sclera that is closest to your ear. These masses can grow very large, and they can turn into a larger problem if left to their own devices. You want to work to prevent a yellow spot on your eye from getting worse.

Pingueculas can be masses of protein and masses of fat, and that’s why they are raised up on your eyes. Sometimes, they are fairly noticeable. Other times, they may just look like your eye is a bit cloudy. No two pinguecula spots are the same, which is why it can be hard to know whether or not that’s what you are truly dealing with. That being said, it is usually more common in tropical areas and spots that get a lot of sun. If you live in one of these areas or work outside, it’s likely that this is the problem that you’re facing.

Is It Cancerous?

When someone sees a lump on their eye, they often think that it could be a sign of eye cancer. These raised lumps can definitely cause some concern and make you wonder. However, if you have a pinguecula, they are non-cancerous lumps. While these lumps may be unsightly to some, eye cancer usually presents itself much differently.

Related: Loss of Peripheral Vision

Where Does It Come From?

Protein doesn’t just show up in the middle of the night. These lumps are usually wherever your eye gets sun and wind exposure. We already know that the sun can be pretty hard on our bodies. While we need it for important vitamins and to survive, the sun can also cause a lot of problems. The UV light is the main concern, and this causes pinguecula. That’s why it is often seen in groups of individuals who spend a lot of time in the sun. While surfing and swimming are a lot of fun, you may find yourself with a pinguecula if you aren’t careful.

A yellow spot on the eye happens when there is a breakdown of the collagen fibers on your eye. This reacts with the overlying epithelium. Then, it will usually calcify which causes the mass to be shown. This ends up becoming twisted and massed together, which is where the pinguecula comes from. They are more common in individuals over the age of 40, but there are people in their 20s and 30s who have them as well.

Signs and Symptoms

The first thing people usually notice with pinguecula is the raised yellow spot on eye. This is a deposit of fat or protein, and it is often fairly noticeable. These happen in the corner of the eye and will not grow across your cornea.

These will not affect vision, so if your vision is affected, you most likely have a different growth. The good news is that pinguecula won’t cause you much pain or harm. Another symptom is that you can usually feel it in your eye. It may feel as though there is something that is in your eye that you cannot get out. You’ll eventually get used to it, but you may be aware of it when it first develops.

You may notice that your eyes look especially bloodshot with a pinguecula. More blood vessels may be present with this type of growth. It can also cause some irritation in the eye. This could lead to you having dry and red eyes. This is something that can usually be fixed with drops, but chronic dry eye is not fun to have and probably the biggest downfall of suffering with a pinguecula.

Related:  Why Are My Eyelids Red

How to Get Rid of a Pinguecula

yellow spot on eye

Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton that can be done to get rid of pinguecula. Once they have developed on the eye, they are hard to get rid of. The most important thing is to try and prevent them from getting worse.

But if it is really bothering you, you could consider surgery. This surgery is thought to be cosmetic,  but it can help if you have severe dry eyes or other effects from it.

The surgery is fairly mild and doesn’t take long, but the sensations are strange. You will need to have local anesthetics placed, and your vision may be blurry for a few days as your eyes heal. A lot of people opt not to get surgery because it doesn’t always make it much better and the pinguecula may return. Even if it is a cosmetic problem, the surgery scare can be just as bad cosmetically. That’s why if you really want to get rid of it, you need to consider all your options. Having a scar could be just as annoying and as much of a problem as the pingeucula itself. It’s important to talk to your health professional about all the steps before choosing which one is best for you.


Treatment Options

If you are suffering from dry eyes, you can use lubricating drops. The doctors will want to make sure that you are comfortable no matter what, so there are a few things that can be done. There are lubricating drops that can help with chronic dry eye, which would help you feel much more comfortable when you are going throughout your daily activities.

There are also non-steroid drops that can help with inflammation if you have that. Sometimes, a pinguecula can cause some pretty bad inflammation. This can even affect your vision and your eyelids. The inflammation is a severe side effect, and non-steroid drops can help to keep the inflammation at a minimum. This can make it much more comfortable throughout the day.

Of course, when you are going outside, you need to wear polarized sunglasses that protect you from the UV light.

And if you want to get surgery, talk to your doctor. They don’t usually want to do the surgery if it is just for cosmetic reasons because the scar can be unsightly as well. However, if it is causing a lot of issues, it’s possible that you may need surgery. Talking to your doctor can help you to decide what the best route is for you.

Avoiding Pinguecula in the Future

yellow spot on eye

If you are out in the sun a lot, you are at a much higher risk of getting pinguecula than someone who stays inside. This is because it is the UV light from the sun that causes so many issues. However, this doesn’t just apply during the summertime. Any time that you are outside, you should be covering your eyes and protecting them. This can be done with sunglasses that block out UVA and UVB light. You need both of these blocked out so that you can keep your eyes as healthy as possible.

Pingeucula may grow over time, but they are benign. Even if you find the mass growing, that doesn’t mean it is too much of a cause for concern. You should watch the size of it and make sure that it doesn’t keep growing too much. But if you are out in the sunlight without protection, it’s possible that you could have the growth become more serious. A more serious growth that can begin to grow over the cornea and affect vision is known as a pterygium.

You can also keep your eyes covered when you are in an environment that is not good for them. This includes any time you are in a very dusty or windy area. Any time that debris can be blown into your eye is not a good thing. This can sometimes cause the pinguecula, and it’s much easier to prevent them from happening than try to cure them and make them go away.

Cosmetic Issues

The biggest concern with a pinguecula or pterygium is that they aren’t what you are used to. They cause a lot of cosmetic issues, but this shouldn’t be the reason that you get surgery. The surgery done on your eye is an outpatient surgery, but it still comes with its risks.

Thankfully, the pinguecula usually isn’t as noticeable as you think it is. It often looks like the eye is cloudy to others, and they don’t usually see the masses or lumps in the eyes themselves. Since they grow mainly in the corners, you may be able to get by without having the surgery for cosmetic issues.

Wearing Contact Lenses

yellow spot on eye

One problem that pinguecula can cause is with contact lenses users. If the pinguecula is close enough to the eye where the lens goes, it can cause a lot of issues with movement of the lens. In that case, it is recommended to get surgery done so that the contacts can be worn regularly again. Contacts are especially important for those who cannot see, and they are difficult to replace with glasses if you are used to wearing contact lenses. While you could switch to glasses permanently, this is not something that a lot of people want to do.

Stopping the Pinguecula

There is some good and bad news. The good news is that pinguecula usually isn’t harmful to you. The bad news is that it can often turn into something worse. When pinguecula aren’t treated and continue to get worse, they can turn into pterygia. This is the next step, and it’s a lot worse. This can grow from the corner of the eye and across your eyeball, which then makes it almost impossible to see.

A pterygium can actually affect your vision, which is very serious. This is the last thing you want! Pinguecula usually turns into it because of a few different things. Sometimes, it’s because of oxidative stress. This means that you get an accumulation of free radicals in the eye which causes further issues. Another is that you live in a dry and windy environment with a lot of sun. This can blow more irritants into your eyes, and the wind and UV exposure can make it a lot worse.

Unfortunately, the success rate for surgery is only 40%. When you cut away a pinguecula, they usually grow back a lot more aggressively. There are some people who never have to deal with it again, but others have to deal with an even worse case. This is something that you want to prevent, so you need to make sure that you are always protecting your eyes.

Immune System Problems

For those who are already suffering from other immune system problems, you are at more of a risk of developing these eye issues. This is because your immune system is already under attack. Those with auto immune diseases may have a harder time recovering and preventing the buildup of pinguecula.

There have been links between those with autoimmune disease and pinguecula. If you already suffer from an autoimmune disease, there are some things you can do to prevent pinguecula from happening to begin with.

One thing is to make sure that your eye health is the best it has ever been. That means that you should always take your contacts out and rinse your eyes with a sterile saline solution. Even if you wear daily-use contacts, they need to be taken out. You should never sleep with your contacts in. This can cause a lot of other problems that you do not want.

Another thing everyone needs to do is to take a multivitamin. When your body doesn’t have the nutrients that it needs, it doesn’t have the energy to keep up with small things like pinguecula. It’s important to always make sure that you have the best vitamins and minerals in your body.

If you already take a multivitamin, you can supplement with one that is made specifically for your eyes. There are a lot of vitamins out there for eye health, but make sure that they contain lutein. This is one of the most aggressive ingredients in keeping away bad eye health. You’ll want to make sure that your eyes have everything they need. We recommend the Heyedrate Lutein and Zeaxanthin. 

Another thing is to use moisturizing drops. This is especially true if you live in a dry environment. If you do, then your eyes are probably getting dry. You may not even notice it happening, but dry eyes can lead to a whole host of issues. lubricating drops can be bought at any store, and they can help to prevent your dry eyes from causing any issues.

Fish oil is another thing that can help keep you and your eyes healthy. It can help build up your immune system, and it’s actually one of the most important things your eyes need to be healthy. Click here to purchase the Heyedrate Omega-3 for Eye Health.

It may seem strange, but everyone needs to get in aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise gets your body moving and reduces inflammation. It’s important for your eye health because it keeps your body healthy. If you don’t already have a regular aerobic exercise routine in place, start out slow. You don’t want to overdo it. You can listen to your body and make sure that you are not overdoing it, making things worse.

Finally, you should be eating a low-carb and sugar-free diet. These are all things that lead to further inflammation, which can make your pinguecula worse.


Questions to Ask Your Doctor

When you go to your doctor, you may need a referral to see an ophthalmologist. This depends on what your physician can do right there in their office. However, there are a few things you can ask you doctor. Go to your appointment prepared, but be ready to ask these questions:

  • How can I prevent this pinguecula from getting worse?
  • Am I a candidate for surgery?
  • Are there any other non-surgical routes that could help me?
  • Is there a way to help dissolve the pinguecula?
  • Will this be a lifelong condition?
  • What can I do to prevent it from happening again?
  • What sun protection do you recommend?
  • Will this interfere with my vision and/or contact lens wear?

These questions can help determine if you’re at risk of the pinguecula from developing into something worse. A lot of people have pinguecula and will not have any further issues with it. However, some will need to have a follow-up appointment with a surgeon to see if there is something that can be done to prevent it from worsening.

Future Studies

There are a lot of studies that are happening in the world of pinguecula. Everyone hopes that there will one day be a cure for this currently incurable eye disease. The good news is that there is a lot of hope out there. Studies are being done, and they have actually shown some improvement.

One study found that turmeric, a natural root, could actually help to shrink the size of pinguecula. While the turmeric was in a special form, it helped to reduce inflammation and break down the mass of twisted collagen so that it no longer created such a large mass in the eye. Further study will need to be done to see if this could be a novel treatment.

Another study found that a regular cardiovascular drug used in eyedrop form was able to completely get rid of the pinguecula. This was unheard of before, so this study was novel in comparison to others. While it is not currently FDA approved, they are working hard to get other forms of treatment out there so that pinguecula doesn’t need to be as bad a problem as it is today.

Will My Eyes Ever Look Normal Again?

For those with pinguecula, there has to be a new normal. Your eyes have been forever changed, but that doesn’t mean that your eyes are ruined. You can always get the pinguecula removed, but that means dealing with a surgery scar as well. So, you have to get used to the pinguecula and prevent it from getting worse.

This eye problem is very small in comparison to what it could be. It is simple and benign, so it isn’t usually a huge cause for concern. The only thing is that it does cause some cosmetic difference in the eye. A lot of times, you’ll be the only one who will notice this. It won’t be really noticeable to others, especially since they won’t be that close to your eyes. It may make the eyes look a little more yellowed.

Just because your eyes look different doesn’t mean that they are any less beautiful than before. Since the pinguecula will only be in the corners of the eye, it means that your eyes are still as stunning as they used to be! It won’t affect your vision, and your eyes will still be very beautiful.

Where to Go From Here

If this is the first time you have ever noticed the pinguecula, the chances are it is in the earliest stages. This is a good sign—and that means you can make sure it doesn’t get worse.

First things first, you should set up an appointment with your physician. Even if there isn’t a ton that you can do, your doctor can diagnose you and make sure that it is actually pinguecula. There’s a chance that it could be something different, and your doctor will be able to tell you.

Once you go to the physician, make sure you have all your questions with you. You don’t want to get there and forget what you had to say! It’s important to get your answers. You may want to get referred to an eye doctor or surgeon. You can discuss your options further as to whether or not you want to get it removed.

Depending on the severity and if it’s causing any issues with your eyes, you may want to get some lubricating eye drops or non-steroid inflammation drops. These can be prescribed by your doctor to help with the pain that you are experiencing. They can also help with your dry eye, should that be a symptom.

The most important thing to remember is that the pinguecula most likely isn’t going to go away. You need to get used to having a new normal, which means that you need to learn how to deal with it. This may mean constant dry eye drops. However, if you have contact lenses, you should talk to your doctor about treating it so that you can still wear your contacts.

Prevention is key here. It’s incredibly important to take care of your eyes so that the mass doesn’t get larger or worse. One way to do this is to protect your eyes from the sun. If you work outside or are outside frequently, you need a good pair of eye protection. This includes the winter time as well. Surfers often struggle with pinguecula but so do skiers and snowboarders. If you are out on the water or out in the snow, the reflection is stronger on your eyes. This causes the pinguecula to grow, unless you have a good pair of protection goggles.

Look for glasses or goggles that will cover the front and side of your eyes. You also want some that will block out all UVA and UVB light. Your pinguecula may be annoying, but as long as you keep your eye health good, you shouldn’t have problems with it growing.


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