What is Pterygium ?
A pterygium is a triangular shaped growth that covers the white part of the eye. It typically presents near the inner corner of the eye and can encroach onto the cornea towards the pupil.
It is composed of conjunctival tissue and can affect one or both eyes. The main cause of a pterygium is exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun.
The appearance is the most obvious sign of a pterygium. Irritation, redness, tearing and discomfort are typical symptoms. A fairly large pterygium may cause persistent burning and discomfort, as if grit were in the eye. Blurred or distorted vision is another symptom. If left untreated it may grow and cover the pupil.
A simple eye examination is required to diagnose this condition. On the day of your appointment your vision will be tested using an eye chart and anaesthetic eye drops will help measure the pressure in your eyes. The affected area will be assessed using a microscope. Finally, dilating drops will also be used to examine the back surface of the eye . This includes the retina, blood vessels, optic nerve and macula.
Treatment may be simply to observe. Sometimes surgery is appropriate and the pterygium is removed.
Current treatment is usually very good. Reoccurrence is the main factor to consider, rates of reoccurrence can be as high as 10%.