Worrying about small yellow swellings that seem to have lately developed on either sides of your cornea? Watch out, for these are the signs of Pinguecula and you could be actually suffering from this disorder. Get detailed information about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of this ocular condition.
It is a yellow, conjunctival non-cancerous deterioration of the white part of the eye which is adjacent to the edge of cornea (sclera). Pinguecula of the eye affects that part of sclera which is located between the eyelids and is exposed to sunlight.
The ICD9 code for this clinical condition is 372.51.
This disorder generally affects those who spend more time under the sun, especially older or middle-aged individuals. People who are often outdoors without any kind of sun protection are more prone to this disorder.
Pingueculae can often give rise to an acute disorder known as pterygia. Pterygium is defined as a bump on the eye (a triangular white ocular section which stretches far to the exterior of the eye, commonly known as cornea). Due to the presence of blood vessels, pterygium can give rise to more serious complications than inflamed Pingueculae. For instance, this disorder can extend as far as the cornea and can create difficulty in vision.
The actual cause of this syndrome is still not known. According to a few medical theories, however, direct exposure to sunlight for a prolonged duration may initiate eye irritation. This can lead to the formation of Pinguecula on eye.
The condition is typically defined as a small yellow lump on the conjunctiva, which is adjacent to the cornea. Though it can appear on both the sides of cornea, it is more common on the nasal side. With the passage of time, the nodule increases in size.
Picture 1 - Pinguecula
In a few cases, patients do not experience any prior warning signs that signify the occurrence of the syndrome. Dry eye can also cause irritation and give rise to a foreign body sensation along with inflammation.
A proper eye examination is considered to be the perfect diagnosis for this syndrome. Doctors perform a proper examination of the small sections of the eye to locate the abnormalities in the region.
The severity of the symptoms of inflamed Pinguecula determines its treatment. People suffering from this ailment do not require any special form of treatment as long as the warning signs are not severe. The treatment therapies recommended by doctors to heal patients may include:
Picture 2 - Pinguecula Image
Lubricating eye drops are recommended to a few patients. Such eye drops reduce foreign-body sensation and constant pain occurring due to the disorder. In a few cases, patients are suggested to use steroidal eye drops in case of severe ocular inflammation. Such steroidal eye drops also help reduce eye pain at a much faster rate.
It is considered to be a natural treatment for pingueculae patients, where affected individuals are advised to put on UV-blocking sun protection glasses. This helps avoid sun rays and minimize the irritation which aggravates the disorder.
In cases where affected individuals are unable to wear their lenses further, surgery is recommended. The removal of pingueculae requires surgery by a qualified surgeon.
During surgery, a patient is made to relax on a gurney and injected with IV. The eyes are numbed by the attending doctors so that the patient is not able to see or experience anything in their eyes during the operation. It takes around 5-10 minutes to remove the pingueculum.
Post Surgery Restriction
After a successful surgery, patients have a patch on their eye as mark due to operation. Once the patch is removed, they are recommended to take medicines as advised by their doctor. Patients affected with Pinguecula must not perform heavy lifting to avoid stress on their eye. Running, golf, biking, tennis and swimming are some of the few sports which must be avoided at least for a week after surgery. However, such patients are allowed to ride a car or use a P.C during this period.
Pain after surgery
After surgery, patients usually often experience a little uneasiness during the initial 24 hours. For relieving such discomforting sensations, Tylenol, Aspirin and Advil are appropriate. In rare cases, patients complain about intense pain near the operated area.
There is certain amount of risk involved in pingueculum removal via surgery. Due to distinctive eye conditions of each and every patient, an operation can have adverse impacts. Hence, consultation is mandatory for each and every patient before undergoing an eye surgery.
Fortunately, this medical condition is benign in nature and its rate of progression is slow. As it never causes any significant damage, its outcome is excellent. This non-cancerous disease does not require any treatment. In a few cases, cosmesis is recommended to patients. The diagnosis of the disorder should be done by a certified doctor to rule out the possibilities of existence of other serious ailments.
In a few cases, this disorder may grow over the cornea and result in an impaired vision. Hence, proper treatment should be administered to avoid worsening of the disorder.
Nothing clearly prevents the occurrence of this eye disorder. However, according to medical research studies, pingueculae and pterygia arise due to UV radiation exposure. Hence, UV radiation should be avoided as much as possible. Patients are advised to wear glasses that can protect their eyes from UV radiation and avoid eye irritants.
Pingueculae is an acute eye disorder. Hence, the condition should be dealt with utmost urgency and care whenever its symptoms are visible. Patients of this disease are advised to take the condition seriously and consult a doctor immediately whenever its signs are apparent.