A pterygium is a non-cancerous growth of the clear, thin tissue conjunctiva that lays over the white part of the eye (sclera). One or both eyes may be involved.
Q: What causes a pterygium?
A: The cause is unknown, but it is more common in people with excess outdoor exposure to sunlight and wind, such as those who work outdoors.
Q: What are the symptoms of a pterygium?
A: The main symptom of a pterygium is a painless area of raised white tissue, with blood vessels on the inner or outer edge of the cornea. Sometimes it may become inflamed and cause burning, irritation, or a feeling like there’s something foreign in the eye.
Signs and tests
A physical examination of the eyes and eyelids confirms the diagnosis. Special tests are usually not needed.
No treatment is needed unless the pterygium begins to block vision or causes symptoms that are hard to control. Then it should be removed with surgery. Wear protective glasses and a hat with a brim to prevent the condition from returning.
Q: What are some common problems with a pterygium?
A: Some pterygium’s don’t cause problems and some do not need treatment.
Q: Can a pterygium return after it is removed?