Pterygium

Pterygium is a common condition for people that spend a lot of time in sunny and windy outdoor conditions. It is an overgrowth of tissue affecting the conjunctiva (skin) of the eye. Treatments include eye drops which help relieve symptoms.

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About

Pterygium prevention is generally not a public health issue that people think about. A pterygium is not cancerous nor malignant. Most do not cause any visual problems. Permanent blindness from a pterygium is rarely heard of, unless in very unusual situations.

Symptoms

However, a pterygium can be unsightly and cause a lot of irritation. Symptoms include redness, watering of the eyes, sensation of dryness and grittiness (similar to that in dry eye syndrome), foreign body sensation, and even double vision in rare occasions. You may also develop blurring and visual distortion from induced astigmatism

Treatments

At present, the only effective way of treating a pterygium is through surgical excision and conjunctival autograft. Although surgery is safe, there are still associated risks. Furthermore, there is still a chance that the pterygium may recur a few years down the line despite successful initial surgery. The best approach is therefore to prevent the pterygium from developing in the first place.