Pinguecula / Pterygia
Just as excess sunlight can cause skin damage, it can also damage some of the superficial layers of the eye. The conjunctiva between the lids is prone to absorbing UV light and can develop elastotic changes. Sometimes these can become inflamed and become quite red. Other times, it can be elevated, which causes irritation with blinking. When the sun damage does not involve the adjacent cornea, it is called a pingueculum. When it begins to grow onto the cornea, it is called a pterygium.
These are usually monitored and treated conservatively. When a pterygium starts growing close to the pupil, or causes pain or astigmatism, it may be suitable for surgical excision. There is a risk of recurrence, if the surgery is not done correctly. Dr. Raja is quite experienced at pterygium surgery and is able to address even difficult recurrent cases. Pinguecula are generally benign though they can present cosmetic problems. It can be removed, and this is done as a cosmetic procedure.