A pterygium is a wing-shaped growth of tissue that originates from the conjunctiva (a clear membrane that covers the white of the eye) and grows over the cornea. It is frequently seen in individuals who spend much of their time outdoors or grew up in more tropical, warmer climates. The growth is completely benign and is due to exposure to sun, wind, and ultraviolet light.
Though most patients are aware of the physical presence, often, these lesions are asymptomatic. Occasionally, patients may be bothered by symptoms of redness, irritation, or a sandy feeling in the eye. Likewise, the growths may cause changes in the shape of the cornea and thus affect vision.
No treatment is often required for these growths. Symptoms can be managed conservatively with several different types of eye drops. These growths can also be surgically removed if one’s vision becomes affected or symptoms are not relieved with medications. The procedure is a relatively simple surgery, but at Lexington Eye, we pride ourselves in using the latest surgical techniques to prevent the most common complication: regrowth of the lesion.
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