A pterygium (pronounced "tehr-RIDGE-ium") is a growth of scar tissue and blood vessels on the surface of the eye, known as the cornea. Normally, the outer surface of the eye is clear and smooth. However, when damaged by overexposure to UV light, the growth can extend across the cornea, causing foreign body sensation, irritation, redness, and eventually, visual disturbances. Left unchecked, it may eventually cause loss of vision.
To diagnose pterygium, Dr. Feldman conducts a physical examination of the eye and eyelids. No special tests are necessary but an examination is conducted under a high-powered microscope known as a slit lamp. If your pterygium is not causing visual disturbances or discomfort, you may not require medical treatment. Instead, your pterygium will be monitored for any changes and you'll be instructed on ways to prevent further sun damage by using hats and/or sunglasses.
If your pterygium requires surgical removal, Dr. Sandy Feldman of ClearView Eye & Laser Medical Center offers no-stitch removal. Learn more about the prevention, cause, and treatment of pterygium. The results are often quite good following surgical removal.
Click here to read Pterygium Removal Surgery: What to Expect.