The pinguécula is a whitish or yellowish spot that appears in the bulbar conjunctiva, close to the cornea, benign and without repercussion in visual acuity. Its location is usually nasal, although it may also appear in the temporal zone. Although it is a banal process, it can become inflamed and take a reddish appearance, producing also sensation of foreign body.
Pterygium is a fibrovascular proliferation of the triangular bulbar conjunctiva, which tends to grow slowly towards the cornea, and on whose surface it penetrates with the passage of time. It is also usually located in the nasal area, although it sometimes occurs in the temporal. This pathology may influence visual acuity, as it induces astigmatism due to the traction it produces on the corneal surface, and because in cases of significant growth it may affect the central area of the cornea and thus influence the visual axis.
What causes pinguecula and pterygium?
In both cases there is usually a certain predisposition on the part of the patient. It also appears to be in people who are exposed for a long time to the sun and heat, as well as to the wind and working outdoors.
What are the symptoms of pinguecula and pterygium?
The main symptom is ocular redness, light in the case of the pinguécula, but that can be very evident in the pterigion. In addition, in the case of pterygium can produce a decrease of visual acuity of very slow onset.
What is the treatment of pinguecula and pterygium?
Once the ophthalmologist has made a diagnosis, the first treatment is usually eye drops or ointments. In either case, they usually respond well to eye drops or ointments with corticosteroids, which attenuates symptoms. In the pinguécula it is only indicated when it ignites, since it usually goes unnoticed and does not cause discomfort. In pterygium, treatment may decrease vascular congestion, but not the slow progression of the process, which will continue its course over time. The definitive solution goes through the surgical treatment (extirpation), although it must be taken into account that it has a tendency to reappear. For this reason it is recommended to remove the pterygium and to cover the wound with a little conjunctiva taken from another part of the eye. The amniotic membrane implant is also a solution, although less usual.
Is it possible to prevent pinguecula or pterygium?
Only to a certain extent, since there is a constitutional factor of predisposition. Although avoiding the causes set forth above, its incidence can be minimized. The use of sunscreen and special goggles are of help.