Many people come to the eye doctor’s office with a concern of a “white or yellow bump” growing on the white part of their eye. What is it and is cancerous?
Pictured above: Pinguecula
UV radiation coupled with dusty environment and low humidity is thought to contribute to the formation of pingueculas and pterygiums on the eye. These conditions occur when conjunctival tissue, which covers the white portion of the eye, grows and thickens.
Pingueculas and pterygiums are benign growths on the eye. Although they are not cancerous, in some cases, pterygiums may begin to grow over the cornea and the pupil, causing vision impairment and ocular discomfort.
Pictured above: Pterygium
If the pterygium begins to affect vision or causes a lot of irritation, it can be removed with surgery. However, even with surgery the pterygium may sometimes grow back. This is why it is important to wear sunglasses when you go outside during the day, even when the sun is not shining bright.