A pterygium is a flesh growth that invades the cornea, or the clear front window of the eye. Pterygia may be small or grow large enough to interfere with vision. They commonly occur on the inner corner of the eye.
The exact cause of a pterygium is not well understood. The condition occurs more often in people who spend a great deal of time outdoors, especially in the sun. Long-term exposure to sunlight – especially UV rays – and chronic eye irritation from dry dusty conditions are likely culprits.
Despite proper surgical removal, the pterygium may return, particularly in young people. Surface radiation or medications are sometimes used to help prevent recurrences. Protecting the eyes from excessive UV light with proper sunglasses and avoiding dry, dusty conditions can also help.
If you believe you have a pterygium, we encourage you to set up a comprehensive eye examination so that we can rule out other conditions and provide treatment.