At a Glance - Pterygium versus pinguecula

Discriminatory signs

  • White or pink fibrovascular growth.
  • Triangular patch of hypertrophied bulbar subconjunctival tissue, extending from the inner canthus to the border of the cornea or beyond, with apex pointing toward the pupil.
  • Usually confined to the nasal aspect.
  • Appears from age 20 and grows slowly.
  • UV light, wind and dust may be involved in the causation.


  • Excision if it encroaches on the visual axis.
  • Protective glasses for outdoor work are advised.
  • Artificial teardrops can provide symptom relief.

Discriminatory signs

  • Degenerative areas in the cornea.
  • A yellowish patch is seen between four and eight o'clock that is in both nasal and temporal bulbar conjunctiva.
  • May be related to sun and wind exposure.
  • Can become inflamed or ulcerated.
  • Does not grow, does not invade the cornea.


  • If ulcerated, use antibiotics and lubrication drops.

Contributed by Dr Vasa Gnanapragasam, a GP in Sutton, Surrey.

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