There are only a few conditions that cause white spots on the eye to form and are mostly treatable. The most common conditions linked with white spots on the eyeball are corneal ulcers and pingueculas.
Eye problems, whether causes minimal or severe discomfort, must always be checked upon by a doctor to prevent long-term damage to vision.
Certain conditions that can cause white spots on the eye to form include:
- corneal ulcers
If left untreated, corneal ulcers can lead to permanent vision damage and even blindness. Some causes include eye allergies, immune system disorders, inflammatory diseases, and other corneal damage.
Corneal ulcers only occur when the cornea is damaged. Causes of damage include:
- trauma from the eyeball being hit or penetrated
- contact lens complications
- severe scratch
These damages can cause infection to develop. Microorganisms that can lead to infection of the cornea include:
- acanthamoeba, a parasite
- herpes simplex virus
- fusarium, a fungus
Pingueculas can occur when the eyes:
- become irritated by contact lenses, dust, or sand
- are exposed to UV rays
- are exposed to arc welding
- become dry
Pingueculas are white or yellowish spots that consist of fat and protein deposits. They are located on the conjunctiva or the transparent covering of the sclera and are commonly near the nose.
Although very rare, cancers on the eyeball may occur such as in conditions like:
- eye melanoma
- squamous cell carcinoma
An eye doctor will conduct eye examinations and history-taking of recent injuries that may cause white spots on the eye to form. If the eye doctor presumes an infection, a biopsy or culture may be conducted.
Fluorescein can also help doctors identify pingueculas, although it would still need further examinations to confirm the condition.
For eye cancer, the following diagnostic tests may be done:
- fluorescein angiogram, to provide a photograph of suspected cancers using a dye
- ultrasound scanning for eye imaging and anything on it
When to See a Doctor
Anyone who has an eye problem that does not clear up in a day or two should seek treatment.
It is essential to see a doctor if there is:
- any rapid change in vision
- sudden pain
- discharge from the eye
A doctor can refer you to an ophthalmologist, optometrist, or eye specialists for further and more complete eye diagnostic tests.