Pterygium/Pinguiculum

Pterygium and Pingueculum

Symptoms

Irritation, redness, sometimes reduced vision, usually there are no symptoms associated with the condition. May be noticed by chance while looking in the mirror or by someone else.

Pterygium (image)

Pinguicula (image)

What is it?

Pterygium is a wing-like fibrovascular membrane usually on the side of the cornea towards the nose. It has a tendency to progress towards the cornea, when it does so vision is affected due to the irregular astigmatism it produces initially, and later due to the membrane itself, since the later is not transparent.

Pingueculum is a white or yellow-white raised nodule on the conjunctiva usually towards the nose and near the cornea. This does not involve the cornea.

Etiology

Degeneration of deep conjunctiva. Usually associated with outdoors, sunlight, dry arid climates, dust and chronic irritation. More common near the equatorial regions and between the tropics.

Treatment

  • Good quality sun-glasses or goggles providing UV protection and protection from heat and dust, winds.
  • Artificial tears.
  • Surgery is indicated when – the pterygium causes discomfort to the patient, or causes reduced vision.

Points to be noted

Sometimes the lesions can get inflammed wherein a mild topical steroid is effective. However when topical steroids are used, the intra-ocular pressure has to be monitored. In case of Dellens, patching with an artificial tear ointment for 24 hours is needed.

There is a high rate of recurrance following surgery for the removal of pterygium, for which special medications have to be used for some time after surgery.