Many people living in countries with a harsh dry climate, such as South Africa, may develop a thin film on the white of the eyes. These films grow from the nasal side towards the centre of the eye where tiny blood vessels can usually be seen that run from the base to the tip of the triangle.

Both a pterygium and a pinguecula are abnormal growths that form on the surface of the eye. They may appear similar, have similar symptoms and causes but they are actually different conditions.