It is often very worrying to find something out of the ordinary on your eye, whether it is affecting your vision or not. Our eyes are very delicate and the idea of losing one’s sight can be devastating. Luckily, yellow spots on the eye are not only fairly common but also unlikely to be a sign of anything serious.
What can cause yellow spots on the white part of the eye?
The two most likely causes of yellow spots are:
Pinguecula is a yellow spot or bump on the conjunctiva (white) of the eye, caused by a deposit of calcium, protein or fat. A pinguecula is small, painless and not dangerous, although it may cause irritation if it does grow quite large.
Pterygium is a growth of tissue which can start out as a pinguecula and could grow to cover part of the cornea, affecting vision. A pterygium is more likely to require treatment or surgery than a pinguecula.
How to get rid of a yellow spot on your eye
A pinguecula will generally remain small and will not require any treatment unless it is unsightly or if it has grown into a pterygium and is causing problems with vision.
Any irritation caused by the pinguecula can be treated with eye drops – either over-the-counter lubricating drops or, in cases of serious inflammation, steroid eye drops. Steroid drops should only be used under the supervision of an optician, as they can cause side effects which should be monitored.
If a pterygium or pinguecula is causing vision problems, surgery may be considered and is a short 30-minute procedure under local anaesthetic.
How to avoid yellow spots on your eye
There are things that can be done to avoid yellow spots appearing on your eyes, if you have suffered from a pinguecula or pterygium in the past, or to prevent one appearing in the first place.
wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV light
using eye drops to stop your eyes from drying out and becoming irritated
wearing googles if you work in an environment in which the atmosphere is dusty, sandy or otherwise requires goggles.
Where can you get more information?
If it is all of the white of your eye that appears yellow and not just a small spot, then it may be that you are suffering from a different condition.
We've published a post on what can cause the whites of your eyes to go yellow
If you are ever concerned about something to do with your eyes it is always worthwhile seeing a doctor or optician to put your mind at ease.
However, it is worth bearing in mind that with yellow spots on the eye it is very unlikely to be something that will develop into a serious problem.
Got a question? Need help?
Get in touch with your local independent optician for professional advice on all aspects of eye health.