Objectives: Pinguecula is a relatively frequent disease; however, there have been no reports about the grade of pinguecula. We investigated the relationship between age and the prevalence and severity of pinguecula by using a grading system and compared the grade of pinguecula between men and women and between the nasal and temporal halves of the conjunctiva.
Methods: This was a prospective, randomized study of 1,040 patients aged 1 to 95 years, including 520 men and 520 age-matched women. The age, gender, medical history, ocular history, and grade of pingueculae located on the nasal and temporal conjunctiva were determined in all subjects.
Results: The prevalence of pinguecula increased dramatically with age. The mean grade was higher in male patients than in female patients for pingueculae located on both the nasal conjunctiva (P = 0.00072) and the temporal conjunctiva (P = 0.00035). However, there was no significant difference in the grade of pinguecula between the nasal and temporal conjunctiva.
Conclusions: This was the first assessment of the grade of pinguecula in a large series of patients. Our findings strongly suggest that pinguecula is an age-dependent lesion that occurs from young adulthood onward. The present grading system should also be useful for future clinical studies of pinguecula.