Pingueculas are small nodules of yellowish elastic tissue which may develop on the white part of the eye. They are most often seen in people with dry eyes or people with extensive UV exposure. When they become irritated they appear larger and the blood vessels going to them dilate resulting in red eyes.
If they become irritated enough, they begin to grow across the cornea and are referred to as pterygium’s. They are leading cause of loss of vision in Third World countries. In this country, they are often referred to as “Surfers Eye”.
Patients with pingueculas or pterygiums should wear sunglasses for UV protection and use lubricating drops frequently. When they become a cosmetic problem or threatened vision they are surgically removed.