What is Pterygium? | Basir Eye Center
What is Pterygium?
corneal specialist

What is Pterygium?

Pterygium is a kind of pink tissue which grows on the eye’s conjunctiva (a pink color tissue across your eyelids). This tissue usually starts to grow from the eye corner near the nose, toward white part of the eye which is called sclera and the pupil. It can exceed your cornea.

You should note that despite of its terrible shape, it is not a cancer. This disease development can continue as you age or stop after a while. In some cases that might cover the pupil and make problems in your sight. If this excrescence grows in both eyes of the patient it is called bilateral pterygium. In most cases, the patient would not have a serious problem and just feel something in his eye.

What causes pterygium?

This disease is also called “Surfer’s eye”. It does not mean that a surfer gets this disease, but one thing you should notice is that being in the sunlight for a long time, increases the pterygium risk. Particularly the water can reflects the UV rays of sun and puts your eyes in danger.

Specialists claim that the most common cause of it is the UV rays of sun but we can add dry eyes, dust and wind too. Researches show that mostly the mature people (between 30 to 50) would suffer from this excrescence. Some specialists say that if you have a light eyes and skin, you have a chance of getting the disease.

If you have its symptoms you should visit your eye doctor and he would choose the best way of treatment. Treatment method is different based on the size of excrescence and its growth. In a case that, it is small the doctor would give you eye drops and lubricants. In some cases the patient uses an eye contact to prevent the pterygium growing and other symptoms.

But in some situations (that other methods failed, your vision is at risk or you don’t want its look) you may need an eye surgery. Your surgeon would choose the best method to do the surgery. The good news is that this surgery is an outpatient surgery so the surgery would last for a short time and you will be well quickly.

Symptoms of pterygium

Some indications of this disease are mentioned below:

  • Some patients would have eye redness
  • If it goes into your cornea you would have blurry vision
  • A yellow color swelling on the conjunctiva
  • You may feel that something is in your eye
  • Itchy eyes
  • You may feel burning inside your eye


What are the complications and risks

As every other eye diseases, this disease has its own complications too. We mention some of those here.

You should notice that if you have a surgery to remove your pterygium, it may cause astigmatism. It is common in the people who have astigmatism before surgery. Irritation and eye redness is also another complication. In some cases, pterygium may recur and grow more aggressive. You may have scars on your cornea. Usually some patients would experience blurry vision.

  • eye redness
  • blurry vision
  • A yellow color swelling on the conjunctiva
  • Itchy eyes
  • You may feel burning inside your eye
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