Gulf Coast Eye Institute

Pterygium

Pterygium DiagramSometimes called “Surfer’s Eye.”

Generally associated with people who are constantly in the sun and deal with dust (hence the term surfer’s eye), pterygiums are most common in sunny climates.
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What is a Pterygium?

ptyregiumPterygium DiagramSometimes called “Surfer’s Eye,” a pterygium is a non-cancerous growth that spreads from the pink tissue of the tear duct in toward the center of the eye. Pterygiums often cause symptoms such as burning, itching, a foreign body sensation or even blurred vision.

Generally associated with people who are constantly in the sun and deal with dust (hence the term surfer’s eye), pterygiums are most common in sunny climates. They also most commonly occur in people 20 to 40 years old and are almost twice as common in men. To help prevent pterygiums, we suggest wearing sunglasses anytime you are enjoying a day in the sun.

How Can I Treat My Pterygium?

If you already have a pterygium, we have options. Minor pterygiums often require no treatment. That said, in most cases, pterygiums will cause some eye discomfort, such as itching or burning. If your pterygium causes discomfort, we suggest treating it with artificial tears and other pain management techniques.

Severe pterygiums may grow large enough to cover the pupil. If a pterygium begins to contribute to vision loss, we suggest surgical removal along with other treatment options that can be discussed with your Gulf Coast Eye Institute doctor.

Thankfully, pterygiums are entirely benign growths that are very treatable. Our experienced ophthalmologists at Gulf Coast Eye Institute regularly treat a variety of eye conditions and are happy to help treat your pterygium. If you have a pterygium that has been bothering you, schedule an appointment with us today.

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