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What is that yellow bump on my eye?

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A pinguecula is a yellowish slightly raised bump that appears on the white part of the eye.  It is most commonly found between the colored part of the eye and the corner closest to the nose.  This is caused by thickening of the conjunctiva that covers the white part of the eye.

What causes the pinguecula to form?

  • UV radiation
  • Dust and wind
  • Dry eyes

Signs and Symptoms

Most people that have pinguecula do not have symptoms and no treatment is required.  If the pinguecula becomes swollen, the condition is called pingueculitis.  Symptoms include redness, burning, stinging and dry eyes.  Treatment includes artificial tears and steroid eye drops to reduce the amount of swelling and inflammation.  Surgical treatment can be considered  if the pinguecula interferes with contact lens wear or causes excessive irritation and dryness. 


Sunglasses that block UV rays can prevent pinguecula from forming and progressing.  Wrap around sunglasses can be considered to provide excellent coverage and provide protection from dust and wind. Lubricating eye drops can be used when the eyes are irritated and dry.  


Written by Dr. Michael Duong

Dr. Duong received his bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry at San Jose State University. He then attended Pennsylvania College of Optometry and received his Doctor of Optometry in 2009.
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