Pterygium is a growth that begins to develop on the cornea. The elevated growth typically develops on the outside edge and grows inward, eventually it may cause impaired vision. The growth is a result of the conjunctiva growing onto the cornea. Doctors are still researching the exact cause of a pterygium. Studies show that high exposure to ultraviolet light and dry conditions lead to the growth, that is why pterygium is common for patients in warm climate areas.
The symptoms of pterygium are often not severe but may include eye irritation and blurred vision. Most patients complain of itchiness, scratchiness and burning. Pterygium grows slow and it may not affect your vision unless it grows directly over the center of the cornea.
Pterygium treatment is not necessary if vision is not affected. If the growth becomes red or irritated there are a number of eye drops and ointments available to relieve the dryness and inflammation. If vision is affect then surgery is an option to remove the pterygium. Patients can also elect to have the pterygium removed for cosmetic purposely. However, patients should be aware that pterygia does have a tendency to return after the surgery. Patients may experience dryness and irritations after the removal but surface radiation and other medications can be used to treat this and prevent recurring growths.