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Your Eyes - Sept/Oct 2002

Sun Exposure Can Cause Eye Infections

By Dr. Thomas K. Smith 

Do you spend much time outdoors? Excess exposure to salt water spray, wind, dust and the sun’s ultraviolet radiation can lead to the condition called pinguecula or calloused eyes.  Pinguecula frequently occurs from damage to the conjunctiva, the thin membrane lining the lid and covering the white of the eye.  The condition occurs more often in adults as they age.  Males develop pinguecula approximately three times more often than females.

In pinguecula, the conjunctiva is replaced by a raised, thick and yellowish patch or bump normally in the corner of the nasal side of the eye.  Sometimes a pinguecula develops into a pterygium, or conjunctival thickening that may irritate the blood vessels.  A pterygium often grows over the cornea and affects the vision. 

Some individuals with pinguecula feel as if they have something in their eye.  Others have no symptom but dry eyes.  Usually lubricating eye drops can restore the conjunctiva.  A serious pterygium may have to be removed surgically, although chances of a reoccurrence run high.  Eye care specialists strongly recommend that individuals who spend significant time outdoors wear hats and sunglasses with ultraviolet protection.  The glasses also keep out most other irritants.  Call for an appointment with your eye care specialist if you notice any change in the whites of your eyes.

Dr. Thomas K. Smith
Smith & Smith
592 N. Main St.
McKenzie, TN 38201

        Emu's Zine does not diagnose, prescribe or dispense medical advice.  We report and attempt to educate the public about the possible health benefits derived through the use of emu oil based products and consumption of low cholesterol, low fat emu meat.   This site contains personal testimonies and professional observations.   We encourage people to contact their family physicians regarding any health problems they may have for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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