is a triangular growth of pink, fleshy tissue on the eye.
It usually forms on the side closest to your nose and grows toward the pupil area.
A pterygium usually has no symptoms and most patients come to the doctor when they notice the growth.
Sometimes wind or dust or inflammation can cause irritation or tearing in the eye.
If the growth gets into your cornea, it can cause blurry vision.
A pterygium can be caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun or irritants like dust, wind, smoke, or heat.
At first a pinguecula might form and after exposure to light may cause the tissue and blood vessels to form a pterygium.
The doctor may perform a slit lamp examination to accurately assess the size and extent of the pterygium.
Avoid irritants like wind, sunlight, dust, and smoke, including cigarette smoke.
Wear sunglasses regularly when you are outside to protect against the sun and wind.
- Prevention is the best treatment so avoid irritants that can cause inflammation by wearing sunglasses when outdoors and avoid being outside too long when it’s very sunny or windy.
- Use eye drops to alleviate symptoms of pinguecula or pterygium, such as irritation, tearing, and/or redness. Your doctor will prescribe eye drops as appropriate to manage these symptoms. Eye drops cannot eradicate pinguecala or pterygium, but when the inflammation is reduced and preventive measures are practiced, the tissue can improve somewhat.
- Pterygiums do not usually need to be treated as they are not dangerous and do not usually impact vision. But in some patients, if symptoms affect the quality of life or the pterygium affects self-esteem, surgery may be an option. Surgery may also be considered if eye drops do not help reduce irritation.