The thin skin that covers the white of the eye, the conjunctiva, can become inflamed from dryness or UV radiation. Pterygium affects the conjunctiva, where it may start to grow over the cornea & interfere with vision due to the inflammation. Pterygium can grow horizontally, which blocks the cornea, or even outwardly, distorting one’s vision like astigmatism. Depending on how large the growth, one can reduce a mild case with medication, while advanced cases can be treated surgically by an ophthalmologist.
While not nearly as problematic as pterygium, when a person’s eye receives an overexposure of UV radiation, the sides of the cornea along the conjunctiva can develop yellow spots or growths, which is called pinguecula. During an eye exam that uses digital retinal imaging or topography, these growths can be analyzed by your eye doctor to see if your case of pinguecula is causing any harm to the eye, but often, the yellow spots are merely a change of color and mainly unharmful. Pinguecula develops often in middle-aged or seniors.
Always remember that sunglasses with polarized lenses and UV protection are beneficial in sustaining healthy eyes and avoiding eye conditions like these.