Pterygium is a triangular fibrovascular tissue formation which invades the cornea. In early stages, there are small, gray growths near the corneal limbus and as the disease progresses the conjunctiva covers these growths and gradually expands on the cornea as a triangular formation. A pterygium may be small or may become large enough to obscure vision.

Pterygium appears more often in people who spend most of their time outdoors, especially in warm climates with a lot of sunshine. Extended exposure to sunlight, especially to ultraviolet radiation, combined with chronic eye irritation caused by dryness in the environment and dusty conditions, appears to be a major cause.

How is pterygium treated?

If the pterygium is irritated and redness appears, drops or ointments can be applied locally to reduce inflammation. Surgery is recommended either for cosmetic purposes or if progression threatens the visual axis resulting in vision impairment.

Even after a proper surgical removal, there may be regression of the condition, particularly in young individuals. In some cases, local irradiation or special medication may be used to prevent regression.

Finally, keep in mind: Your ophthalmologist is the best source for responsible information on issues that are related to the health of your eyes. Under no circumstances is the information available on our website intended to replace your doctor. Always contact your doctor for information.