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Eye and Vision Care

Pinguecula

10/19/2010

Question:

Should a small pinguecula growth be removed?

Answer:

A pinguecula (pin-GWEK-u-lah) is a small and slightly-raised yellowish non-fatty thickening of the eye's visible outer layer (the white portion). It always occurs at the 3 and/or 9 o'clock positions of the eye and never in the 12 and 6 o'clock areas (because your eyelids cover those areas). The cause is long-term exposure to sunlight and atmospheric pollution like dust, smoke, wind, sand, molds, grasses, pollen, etc.

It is best treat these nodules by wearing good sunglasses when outside and using lubricating eye drops when inside UNLESS your eye doctor thinks it is cancerous, in which case he or she would recommend surgical removal and biopsy.

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Response by:

Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO
Professor Emeritus of Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University