Last reviewed by Editorial Team on August 13th, 2018.
Bump on Eyeball – What is it?
Our eyelids are lined on the inside with the conjunctiva membrane, this covering the white part of the eyes as well. There are two main types of bumps that can appear on the eyeball. The first is known as pingueculum and it represents a small bump that is present on the white part of the eye (most commonly on the side that is closest to the nose), being clear or yellow in color. The second type is known as pterygium, which is also a small bump that can appear on the white part of the eyes, having however tiny blood vessels in its formation. It should be noted that the pterygium can extend as far as the cornea, as it grows in size.
For a lot of people, the bump of the eyeball is disturbing for aesthetic reasons, while for others, it is an important health issue, as it hinders their vision. It is important to understand that the majority of these bumps are not serious, being quite harmless in fact. They do not require treatment and they go away on their own. In the situation that they lead to different symptoms, that is when you should seek out medical treatment.
The bump on eyeball is commonly identified through the routine ophthalmologic examinations. There are no specific tests that can be used for the identification of such problems. If the bump on the eyeball is significant, causing pain or discomfort, the patient might report to the doctor himself/herself, asking for a routine examination and a correct diagnosis.
These are the most common symptoms that one can experience due to the bump on the eyeball:
- Redness of the eye conjunctiva
- Itchiness or burning sensation, causing discomfort
- Sensation of having a foreign body in the eye
- The eyes can be dry/gritty/watery
- The vision can become affected by the bump on the eyeball, becoming blurry or double
These are the most common causes that can lead to the appearance of a bump on the eyeball:
- Exposure to wind
- Exposure to harmful chemicals or toxic substances
- Constant/prolonged exposure to the sun
- Surfing – this is especially noticed in case of pterygium (also known as the surfer’s eye, due to the fact that it affects surfers in such a high percentage)
- Occupational hazard – working outdoors, spending too much time in the sun (sunny climate) or constantly coming into contact with harmful chemicals or toxic substances. Welding, for example, is one of the occupations that comes with a high risk for developing a bump on the eyeball (especially if you are not using protective measures)
The treatment is required only for the bumps on the eyeballs that are causing symptoms. Otherwise, you have no reason to get treated, as this is not a dangerous condition. In general, both the irritation and the redness can be reduced by using artificial tears. These are available in any pharmacy and they can be bought without a prescription. The doctor might also recommend anti-inflammatory medication, in order to provide the necessary pain relief and reduce the inflammation (oral or topical administration, depending on the seriousness of the condition). Corticosteroids are administered only as a short-treatment solution, as they can have negative effects over one’s health (most common method of administration – eye drops). Vasoconstrictor drops might also be recommended for occasional usage.
If you are experiencing vision problems due to the growth invading the cornea, you may require surgical intervention for its removal. It is also possible that the bump re-appears after the surgical intervention, requiring a second surgery. In general, the surgical intervention is recommended in the following cases: when other non-invasive measures have failed, if the patient is at risk of losing his/her eyesight and if there is a cosmetic concern about the appearance of the eyes.
The biggest risks for the appearance of a bump on the eyeball are related to the constant exposure to sun, wind or chemicals. If you are working outdoors, it might be for the best to protect your eyes with sunglasses or even use special goggles. The sunglasses have to be worn even when it is cloudy outside, as you need protection against the ultraviolet rays (active during cloudy days as well). You may choose sunglasses that have a high SPF and also wear them during driving, as the reflection of the sun through the windshield can be quite damaging. Wearing a protective hat, with a wide brim, is also a good idea, in order to protect yourself from the sun or wind. Artificial tears are also recommended as a preventative measure – they can maintain the protective film on the eye conjunctiva, reducing the changes of irritating or toxic substances penetrating into the eye.
When to see a doctor?
You may need to see a doctor in case the bump on the eyeball starts to cause symptoms, leading to discomfort and even pain. If you are suffering from eye irritation or you are experiencing a burning sensation in the respective eye, you will need to see the doctor. The same goes in case your conjunctiva has become intensively red or you are suffering from blurry or double vision. If the bump on the eyeball upsets you, there should be no more delaying in visiting the doctor. After the correct diagnosis has been made, the doctor will be able to guide you in choosing the right treatment. This condition can be easily treated, so there is no need for you to worry about it not being treatable. Surely, you can always prevent its re-appearance, by using the preventative measures mentioned above.
In conclusion, having a bump on the eyeball is not something to be terrified about but you will need to visit the doctor, in the situation that the symptoms cause a lot of discomfort. This condition can be easily prevented by protecting yourself against the major risk factors, such as the sun and the wind. You will also have to limit your contact with harmful chemicals or other similar substances, wearing protective equipment during the period of time you are handling them.
How does bump on eyeball looks like?