A pterygium is an abnormal growth of tissue on the conjunctiva. It usually starts in the inside part of the eye, closest to the nose and gradually progresses across the front of the eye. Occasionally, a pterygium will start on the outside part of the eye or you may have multiple pterygia on the same eye.
Pterygia are thought to be caused by chronic exposure to ultraviolet light, such as sunlight and typically grow on people who work or live in a dry and dusty environment. This is a benign growth on the eye and may require no treatment at all.
What are the symptoms?
A pterygium may show up as a red and irritated wedge shaped growth on the white part of the eye. Many times there are not other symptoms. Occasionally, if the pterygium is large or growing over the pupil there can be a blocking or decrease in vision. Even with small pterygia there can be an increase or change in astigmatism due to a mechanical pulling on the cornea.
What is the treatment?
There is a surgery that is typically performed in the office to remove a pterygium. It involves peeling the benign growth off of the front of they eye and closing or covering the exposed area with a graft of skin from under the eyelid. The surgery if very effective and regrowth or recurrence of the pterygium is seen in less than 5% of cases. This procedure is recommended if there is any decrease in vision or if the redness and irritation of the affected area become bothersome.
For more information on Pterygium or any other disorder of the eye, contact our eye doctors at the nearest location to you.
6699 Chimney Rock Rd
Houston, TX 77081
1331 W Grand Pkwy N
Katy, TX 77493
CLEAR LAKE /PEARLAND
Houston, TX 77089
Houston, TX 77065