What is a pterygium?
Pterygium is a tissue growth in the corner of the eye that is often triangular in shape. If left untreated, the growth can spread throughout the pupil, blurring vision, or distort the surface of the eye.
The Pterygium is a benign lesion on both sides of the cornea that can be caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight or air. Inflammation, dust, and dryness can also be a factor. They usually cause irritation, redness, and a foreign body sensation. Sometimes they grow larger and diminish or distort vision.
Symptoms of pterygium
The symptoms are usually mild. Most people have no symptoms. If the growth is still small, you are less likely to have symptoms. Some features include:
- Redness and inflammation of the eye
- Feeling of discomfort or burning in the eye
- The feeling that there is a strange object in the eye.
- Dry eye due to decreased tear production
- Distortion of the transparent membrane in the front of the eye (cornea) causes blurred vision
- Blurred attention if growth occupies the entire student
Some people don’t like the look of pterygium. It is usually a triangle-shaped magnification. But not always. Some people notice this only after the growth has covered most of the cornea and obstructed the iris. The growth can be white, pink, or red.
Causes of pterygium
Dryness and exposure to ultraviolet light appear to be important factors in its development. Some common causes of pterygium are:
- Long-term exposure to ultraviolet light: People who spend a lot of time outdoors for work or recreational reasons are at risk of developing a surfer’s eye.
- Previous cases of dry eyes: If you have dry eyes, you are more likely to develop a surfer’s eye.
- Exposure to irritants: Dust, sand, and air increases the surfer’s eye and provides to the deterioration of symptoms and growth on the surface of the eye.
- Your family history: Some researchers believe that people with a family history are more likely to develop this condition than those without a pterygium condition.
Risk factors of pterygium
Pterygium is more common in men and older people. Other factors that increase your chances:
- Excessive exposure to environmental conditions (sunlight, dust, dirt, heat, dryness, air, smoke)
- Outdoor hobbies
- Work in occupations with excessive display to solvents or chemicals
- Family members with pterygium
Diagnosis of pterygium
Your healthcare provider can confirm this with a medical history and physical exam. This will include a detailed eye exam for you, especially if you have vision problems. Your healthcare provider may refer you to an ophthalmologist for an evaluation.
Frequent medical history and examination provide adequate information for diagnosis. Your ophthalmologist will closely monitor your growth. This helps ensure that it is not just another condition that requires different treatment.
In some cases, your ophthalmologist may take a small sample (biopsy) of the pterygium and examine it under a microscope. Making sure it is not a cancerous growth. But this is not usually necessary.
Treatment of pterygium
Treatment of the surfer’s eye depends on the size of the pterygium, whether it grows, and the symptoms it causes. The pterygia must be controlled to avoid the formation of scars that cause loss of vision, regardless of severity.
If your pterygium is small, your ophthalmologist may order lubricants or mild steroid eye drops to temporarily decrease the inflammation and redness. Contact lenses are sometimes used to cover growth, protecting them from certain effects of dust or from increased UV exposure. Topical cyclosporine is also indicated for dry eyes.
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Excision of the pterygium can be done in the doctor’s office or in the operating room. It is important to note that patriarchal removal induces astigmatism, especially in those who already have astigmatism.
Surgery: In some cases, a pterygium can cause a person to have vision problems or symptoms that they cannot control with over-the-counter or prescription treatment.
In such cases, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove the pterygium. However, pterygia usually increase after surgery. For this reason, a doctor may recommend surgery only if a person’s symptoms are severe.
To reduce the chance of pterygium recurrence, a person should take steps to protect their eyes from the sun, dust, and other irritants. They should also consult their eye doctor for follow-up care.
Complications of pterygium
A pterygium may not cause problems other than eye redness and irritation, but if it grows on the cornea, it can cause visual symptoms. You should know that occasional treatment can cause problems. For example, you may get an eye infection after surgery, or MMC treatment may not heal properly and lead to a corneal infection.
Prevention of pterygium
Protecting your eyes from sunlight and ultraviolet radiation is always important, and wearing round sunglasses with UV protection will protect you from both the sun and dust.
Some tips and things to keep in mind:
- It is important to wear sunglasses throughout the year. Don’t be fooled by clouds or if you are in the shade – substantial UV rays penetrate the cloud layer and reflect off surfaces such as land, sand, water, or snow.
- Recommend wearing sunglasses from 8 to 10 in the morning and from 2 to 4 in the afternoon are actually the most important times to wear them.
- When buying sunglasses, remember to check the sun protection factor on the swing tag. Look for sunglasses that conform to categories 2, 3, or 4 of the Australian standards. Your optometrist will help you make sure your sunglasses fit well and are comfortable to wear. Keep in mind that a high selling price does not always mean good protection.