Diagram of Pterygium

What Is Pterygium?

The condition is identified by a pink-tinted tissue growth on the eye’s conjunctiva. This is the clear covering over the white part of your eye. The growth typically starts in an area that’s close to the nose.

A popular nickname is “surfer’s eye.” This is due to the fact that excess ultraviolet (UV) light, such as sunlight, can cause pterygium. There are other causes as well, including heredity. Excessive dust or wind can dry out one or both of your eyes and lead to the condition.

Some people first get pinguecula, a related condition in which you might see a yelllowish bump or patch of growth in the white of the eye. See an eye doctor if you think you might have contracted this eye condition.

Can Pterygium Lead to Vision Loss?

Unfortunately, it’s possible that this condition can affect your vision. This can occur if the growth spreads over the iris, the colored part of your eye. If this happens, it could lead to blurry or double vision.

It’s obviously important to seek diagnosis and treatment at an optometry clinic as soon as you see any sort of blemish or discoloration in any part of your eye.

How Can Pterygium Be Prevented?

The simplest preventative measure you can take is to avoid direct sunlight on your eyes. In other words, wear sunglasses when you go out, especially if you live in a place like California, where sunny days are common.

Also, regularly use over-the-counter drops to keep your eyes from drying out.

How Is the Disease Treated?

Most of the time, your eye doctor will prescribe over-the-counter or prescription eye drops. The purpose is to keep your eye from drying out.

In more serious cases, such as when your vision is affected or you feel it mars your appearance, outpatient surgery might be recommended to remove the growth. Your eye doctor will be able to discuss your options in greater detail once you’ve received a diagnosis.

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Schedule your appointment online or call us at 408-884-2215. No matter which of our locations you visit, you will receive the latest in eye care technology from friendly eye doctors and staff committed to serving you.

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