What is a pterygium?

A Pterygium is fleshy tissue that grows in a triangular shape over the cornea (the transparent part or front window of the eyeball). It may grow large enough to interfere with vision. A Pterygium most commonly occurs on the inner corner of the eye, with its apex towards the pupil, but also may appear on the outer corner.

What causes pterygium?

The exact cause is not well understood. Long-term exposure to sunlight, especially ultraviolet (UV) rays, and chronic eye irritation from dry; dusty conditions seem to play an important role. Hence Pterygium occurs more often in people who spend a great deal of time outdoors, especially in sunny climates. A dry eye may contribute to Pterygium as well.

How is pterygium treated?

When a Pterygium becomes red and irritated, eye drops or ointments, which can be spread in the eye, may be used to smooth the inflammation. A large enough Pterygium that threatens sight, grows or is unsightly can be removed surgically. It may occur that despite proper surgical removal the Pterygium returns. That affects particularly young people.

Help prevent pterygium?

To help prevent recurrences surface radiation or medications are sometimes used. Wearing UV protective Sunglasses and avoiding dry and dusty conditions as well as the use of artificial tears may also help.

Please contact us on 1300 EYE 000 and speak with Lyndall, Steffen, Olivia, Ebany, Vicki or Ros to schedule an Appointment with Sallyanne, Josh or Donna.