Pterygium is a common condition in which a growth of tissue forms on the white of the eye. It usually begins from the corner of the eye closest to the nose and grows toward the center of the eye. This growth is non-cancerous and can vary in size. If it grows large enough, it may begin to affect vision.
While there is no exact cause for pterygium, it is most common in those who spend a lot of time outdoors. Risk factors include prolonged UV exposure from sunlight as well as windy, sandy, and dusty environments. For this reason, pterygium is also known as surfer’s eye or farmer’s eye.
A pterygium often does not cause any symptoms. However, if it is a larger growth, symptoms may appear, including:
- Gritty sensation
- Burning sensation
- Red eyes
- Feels like something is in the eye
- Blurry vision
Treatment for pterygium will depend on the size and symptoms. If it is smaller, lubricating eye drops may be used to help relieve discomfort. If it becomes large enough that it affects vision, it may be surgically removed. It can also be removed for cosmetic purposes. Unfortunately, even with surgery, there is still a chance that the pterygium will return.
To learn more about pterygium, or if you are interested in scheduling an appointment at our practice, please call (610) 696-1230 today.