Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
What would cause raised white tissue on the whites of the eye, near and around the iris?

Answer:
This is probably a "pinguecula"— a benign accumulation of elastic and fatty tissue which the eye makes to protect itself like a callous on the hands. They get highlighted if the eye becomes red by irritation or allergy because they are poorly vascularized and the red surrounding tissue makes them stand out as being very pale. These are rare in children and old folks but are common to some degree in the middle years. Your eye makes them as a protective measure and they do not cause problems. They must be distinguished from "pterygia" — benign but aggressive growths in the same area which can become unsightly, irritated, and occasionally threaten sight by growing over the cornea. Your ophthalmologist can evaluate this for you and suggest the best course of action.

Answered by: Richard Bensinger, MD Dr. Richard Bensinger

Categories: Eye Conditions

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Answered: Mar 19, 2013

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