Pingueculae: Atypical and Typical

September 14, 2005
Robert P. Blereau, MD

Pingueculae-yellow lipid deposits-may develop on the bulbar conjunctiva after several years of exposure to drying, dust, and the UV rays of sunlight. They represent elastotic degeneration of the substantia propria and are not seen in infants or children. These lesions usually are evident on the nasal aspect of the conjunctiva; they are innocuous and require no treatment.

Pingueculae-yellow lipid deposits-may develop on the bulbar conjunctiva after several years of exposure to drying, dust, and the UV rays of sunlight. They represent elastotic degeneration of the substantia propria and are not seen in infants or children. These lesions usually are evident on the nasal aspect of the conjunctiva; they are innocuous and require no treatment. A lesion may occasionally become inflamed, producing pingueculitis, but this is easily treated with topical corticosteroids. If a pinguecula advances onto the cornea, it is called a pterygium. (A pterygium, however, does not necessarily arise from a pinguecula.)

Pingueculae in both eyes of a 30-year-old woman (A) were atypical in that the deposits occurred in both the nasal and temporal interpalpebral conjunctivae. In a 35-year-old man (B), the pinguecula is more typical except for its location at the limbus. These photos were sent by Robert P. Blereau, MD of Morgan City, La.

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