What is Pterygium?
A pterygium is a fleshy growth that invades the cornea ( the clear front window of the eyes). It is an abnormal process in which the conjunctiva (a membrane that covers the white of the eye ) grows into the cornea. A pterygium may be small or grow large enough to interfere with vision and commonly occurs on the inner corner of eye.
What causes a Pterygium?
The exact cause is not well understood.
A pterygium occurs more often in people who spend a great deal of time outdoors, especially in sunny climates. Long-term exposure to sunlight, especially ultraviolet (UV) rays, dusty conditions seem to play an important causal role.
How is a Pterygium treated?
When a Pterygium becomes red and irritated, topical eyedrops or ointments may be used to help reduce the inflammation. If the pterygium is large enough to threaten sight, is growing or is unsightly, it can be removed surgically.
Despite proper surgical removal the pterygium may return, particularly in young people. Surface radiation or medications are sometimes used to help prevent recurrences. Protecting the eyes from excessive ultraviolet light with proper sunglasses and avoiding dry, dusty conditions may also help.