A pterygium is a fleshy pink or whitish skin growth that can gradually form along the surface of the eye. It is believed that UV exposure is the main cause of pterygia formation, which is one reason it is so important to protect your eyes with sunglasses in sunny climates like ours. While the condition is not innately harmful or cancerous, it can be irritating to the eye and, in extreme cases, the growth may impair vision by interfering with the cornea and/or pupil. When a pterygium makes contact with the cornea, tension from tissue formation can warp its shape. This can cause astigmatism, which can worsen as the pterygium continues to grow. In cases where the vision is affected, it is important to seek treatment to prevent permanent vision damage and/or further vision impairment. It’s also important to have regular eye exams in order to diagnose pterygium conditions at the earliest possible stage. Our eye doctors at Aloha Laser Vision are experienced in diagnosing and treating pterygia with a variety of advanced methods.
Symptoms of Pterygium
Formation of a pterygium can cause irritation in the eye and affect vision, but in some cases, you may feel nothing at all and just notice its appearance in your eye. Common symptoms of a pterygium may include:
- Blurred vision
- Gritty sensation
- Feeling of a foreign object in the eye
Early symptoms of pterygia formation may be confused with dry eyes due to the similarity of the symptoms. An examination with Aloha Laser Vision can allow us to determine the cause of your discomfort and recommend appropriate treatments.
Treatment for Pterygium
Once you have been diagnosed with pterygium, there are a variety of treatments your eye doctor can choose, depending on the nature of your case. In the early stages of pytergia development, it is commonly suggested that patients keep eyes protected with sunglasses and well-lubricated with artificial tears to prevent growth and mitigate irritation. In some cases, the condition can be treated with ointments, steroid drops, or other types of medicinal eye drops. If the pterygium begins to interfere with vision, you and your doctor may explore surgical techniques to remove it from the eye. Pterygia can be persistent, even after surgical attempts to remove it. Our skilled eye doctor may recommend adjunctive therapies to minimize chances of reoccurrence.
If you would like more information on pterygium conditions, or if you think you may have a pterygium, please contact Aloha Laser Vision to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors.