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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10604
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My 87 year old mother has redness and discomfort in her eye.

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My 87 year old mother has redness and discomfort in her eye. She also has almost what looks like a little cyst in the corner. She complains that it feels like something is in her eye. She has seen two doctors and been on a course of Gentimicin and Erythromycin gel with no relief. Clearly, it's not bacterial. Fungal maybe?

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Dr. Rick :

Is this little cyst on her eyeball itself?

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, the cyst is on her eyeball, on the sclera.
Ok, It sounds like she has a pinguecula.

This is a change in the skin around the eye (conjunctiva) from a lifetime's worth of exposure to sunlight. It is not a cancer. It also can become irritated and red at times.

Here is a link to a picture of a small pinguecula. You can find many other pictures by going to Google images:

This is link to a picture of a pterygium. As you can see one of the major differences between a pterygium and a pinguecula is that a pterygium grows across the clear part of your eye (cornea):

If you are bothered by your pinguecula it can be surgically removed fairly easily by your ophthalmologist using local anesthesia. One word of caution however.....they have the nasty habit of growing back, sometimes with a vengeance.

Does this make sense to you?

For the redness do not use visine or any drops that are for "getting the red out" as this will just irritate things more. Use natural tears to soothe and protect the eye.

Let me know if there is anything else you would like to discuss on this topic

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, this makes sense, but she also has a yellowish discharge from time to time in that eye. Is this common with a pinguecula?
That can occur when it is irritated or inflamed. I suggest she try some natural tears and baby shampoo lid scrubs during these "goopy" episodes:

The best treatment for this condition daily lid scrubs combined with warm compresses. I like to use baby shampoo for lid scrubs. In the shower, place the shampoo on your index fingers, close your eyes, raise your eyebrows (to stretch the skin on you eyelids) and scrub back and forth along your eyelashes for 3 to 5 minutes. The hot water in the shower helps to soften the plugged oils in the glands while the mechanical scrubbing with your soapy fingers removes the oils.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My pleasure. Have a goo day :)