Ask the Optician

Small raised white bump on eyeball with redness and irritation in both eyes


I have a small raised clear to pale white bump on my eyeball just at the inside edge of my iris (closest to my nose). It feels a bit irritated and sore.

I have been suffering with dryish eyes for a few months and have been using eye drops to relieve discomfort. I have also been suffering from an allergy to tree pollen in last 3-4 weeks so have experienced slight redness and irritation in both eyes. However I have only noticed this bump and specific associated irritation in the left eye in the last few days.

Do you know what this is and what I can do to either get rid of it or relieve the irritation?

(It may be a coincidence but in this same (left) eye I have been experiencing floaters for the last 4-6 months.)

Answer Written answer:

This is probably a pinguecula which is very common and a type of conjunctival degeneration and looks like a raised yellow/white deposit on the white of your eye commonly nearest the nose. It is not usually at all painful, but can be uncomfortable, and if so the main treatment is to use frequent applications of lubricating eye drops. So I would step up the instillation of these drops to see if it helps. It may help also to use some antihistamine eye drops as the allergy may cause more irritation. It rarely needs any treatment but can be removed or it can be helped with steroid eye drops, for which you need to see an eye specialist. If it is painful,  you may have an eye infection like conjunctivitis or the pinguecula itself can become infected and may need medication. I think you need to see your GP if the discomfort persists, and if appropriate you may need to see the specialist. Your optometrist or GP should be able to refer you.

The floaters are coincidental, but mention them to your optometrist when you have an eye test.

We recommend you seek professional advice if you are concerned about your eye health:

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Optician's Biography

Simon Kay BSc(Hons) MCOptom has been a qualified Optometrist for over 35 years, and has a vast experience of almost all aspects of optometry. He joined Specsavers Opticians in 1993 first in Liverpool and for 15 years as a director of Lancaster and Morecambe. He served on many panels and committees whilst a director, including those responsible for IT design and professional advancement. He was regional chairman of the North West directors of Specsavers for over 12 years and as such was involved in almost all aspects of optometry on a business and professional level. He has been involved on the Local Optical Committee for many years and is currently Vice Chairman in his area.
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