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Pterygium

 If you engage in outdoor activities a lot, you are at risk for the odd-sounding eye affliction that goes by the name of pterygium conjunctiva. This benign growth of the tissue typically arises from your eye’s clear, conjunctival tissue and may extend onto the cornea.

The cause of pterygium is unknown. But eye doctors do know that you are more predisposed if you have excessive outdoor exposure to sunlight and windblown dust.  A few vocations or hobbies that can place you in this risk category: farming, fishing and golf.

No need to park the plow or give up your beloved games. Simply pay heed to the symptoms of pterygium and get checkups and help as the need arises.

Symptoms of Pterygium

Most pterygia growths do not cause problems and can be left alone to heal on their own.  The symptoms of pterygium vary and can range from mild to severe.

  • irritation
  • persistent redness
  • inflammation
  • dryness
  • itching
  • burning
  • a feeling there’s something in your eye

In advanced cases of pterygium, the growth may affect vision.

  • irritation
  • persistent redness
  • inflammation
  • dryness
  • itching
  • burning
  • a feeling of a foreign body sensation

In advanced cases of pterygium, the growth may affect vision as it extends onto the cornea with potential of induced astigmatism and cornal scarring.

Treatment of Pterygium

Treatment is not necessary in most cases. If the pterygium begins to cause discomfort and irritation, its progression should be monitored.  Depending on the level of severity, conservative treatment such as artificial tears or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drops may save the day.

Eye surgery to remove your pterygium growth should be considered if…

  • symptoms persist and are no longer affected by conservative treatment
  • the growth invades the cornea towards the pupil and obstructs vision
  • the pterygium becomes unsightly

In conventional Pterygium Bare Sclera surgery, the abnormal tissue is removed, leaving part of the eye without a protective coat.  The tissue is then expected to heal properly and grow to cover the once affected area.

The downside:

  • a high rate of pterygium re-growth
  • lengthy recovery time

Other treatment options include…

Auto-graphing:  After the pterygium has been removed, a graft is painlessly taken from the underneath portion of the upper eyelid and attached with special glue.

Amniotic membrane grafting: The pterygium is replaced with a graft of amniotic membrane that’s acquired from the innermost tissue that envelopes the fetus in the womb.

Interoperative Mitomycin C: The antibiotic mitomycin-C is applied following surgery.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of pterygium, please arrange for an exam with one of our eye experts.

Global Laser Vision
Huntington Beach
  • 18632 Beach Blvd., Suite 100
  • Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Global Laser Vision
Los Angeles
  • Optical Boutique
  • 6300 Wilshire Blvd, Ste 104
  • Los Angeles, CA 90048

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