A pinguecula is a common, non-cancerous growth of the clear, thin tissue (conjunctiva) that lays over the white part of the eye (sclera). The cause is unknown, but long-term sunlight exposure and eye irritation may contribute to its development. Welding is a major job-related risk.

A pinguecula is a small, yellowish nodule on the conjunctiva near the cornea. It can appear on either side of the cornea, but tends to appear more on the nose (nasal) side. It may increase in size over many years.

Signs and tests

An eye examination is often enough to diagnose this disorder.


Usually no treatment is needed. Lubrication with artificial tears, and sometimes the temporary use of mild steroid eye drops can be helpful. Rarely, the growth may need to be removed if you have discomfort or for cosmetic reasons.


This condition is non-cancerous and the outlook is good.


The pingeucula may grow over the cornea and impair vision.  Call for an appointment if the size, shape, or color of a pinguecula changes.


It helps to wear good quality UV protection sunglasses and avoid eye irritants.  Keeping the eyes moist with artificial tears and puntal plugs can help prevent growth and redness of the pinguecula.

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