Pinguecula: Understanding This Yellowish Eye Growth

Here's another picture of what a pinguecula looks like from the side.

Do you have a new, yellow growth on the white part of your eye that appears to pop out when you look in the mirror? If so, you may have a pinguecula.

In the video below, Dr. Danny Mack breaks down everything you need to know about pingueculas.

If you don’t like the video or want more information, continue reading.

What is a pinguecula?

A pinguecula is a fleshy, yellowish growth located on the white part of the eye. It usually develops on the side of the eye closer to your nose and can occur on both sides. Truth be told, this condition is very common – especially in areas with sunny climates.

Also, a pinguecula is different than a pterygium! How? A pterygium is a white, fleshy growth that extends from the white part of your eye over the top of your iris.

Pinguecula (looking right)


Like a pterygium, it’s important to note that this eye condition is associated with increased exposure to sunlight, wind, and airborne debris. Also, many people don’t even realize they have these small, fleshy bumps because they typically don’t cause any symptoms. However, it is possible for a pinguecula to cause dryness, irritation, and redness.

Fortunately, to prevent your eyes from developing a pinguecula, or to keep your it from popping out further, there are some easy steps you can take:

  1. When outdoors, wear sunglasses that have UVA and UVB protection. (Transitions are a great option too). 
  2. Make sure your sunglasses have good coverage around the sides.
  3. Consider using artificial tears to help keep your eyes lubricated, as this can reduce irritation.

RELATED: Eyelid Twitching (Myokymia): Why It Occurs and How To Stop It

Pinguecula (looking left)

Management and surgery

Occasionally, this condition can become large and inflamed, in which case medications, such as topical steroids, may be required temporarily. Lastly, in very rare cases, surgical removal is required.

If you have a pinguecula, it is a great idea to have your eyes checked regularly by an eye care professional who can monitor the condition over time.

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Dr. Danny Mack earned his Doctor of Optometry degree at The Ohio State University College of Optometry in Columbus, Ohio. During his training, he gained valuable experience in a variety of clinical settings throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and Utah before settling in Hawaii. He currently serves as the Chief of Optometry at Hawaiian Eye Center on the island of Oahu. Dr. Mack regularly manages ocular diseases, provides consultations for eye surgeries, and performs comprehensive eye examinations. He enjoys fitting contact lenses for patients of all ages as well. Dr. Mack won several awards for leadership and service at The Ohio State University College of Optometry and he has a passion for providing quality eye care to individuals in remote locations. He has volunteered his services on eye care outreaches to rural Hawaii, Honduras, and Fiji.