What is Pinguecula and Pterygium (Surfer’s Eye)?

What is Pinguecula and Pterygium (Surfer’s Eye)?


Pinguecula and pterygium are growths on your eye’s conjunctiva, the clear covering over the white part of the eye.


Pinguecula is a yellowish, raised growth on the conjunctiva. It’s usually on the side of the eye near your nose, but can happen on the other side too. A pinguecula is a deposit of protein, fat, or calcium.


Pterygium is a growth of fleshy tissue (has blood vessels) that may start as a pinguecula. It can remain small or grow large enough to cover part of the cornea.

When this happens, it can affect your vision.




Illustration of a pterygium (surfer's eye), a fleshy growth on the eye




Both pinguecula and pterygium are believed to be caused by a combination of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, wind and dust.



ALSO READ: Myths about protecting your eyes



Avoiding pinguecula and pterygium

lf you have had a pinguecula or a pterygium at least once before, try to avoid the things that cause these growths. Here are some ways:

  • wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) light
  • protect your eyes from dust by wearing glasses or goggles
  • use artificial tears when your eyes are dry




Proactive Eye Health

Take care of your eyes to protect your vision. Always use eye protection to avoid injuries and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays.


People over 40 should have their eyes checked every two years and people over 60 should have their eyes checked every year.


Be proactive in your eye health. If you notice any symptoms of the disorders discussed in this slide show, see your ophthalmologist.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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