A pterygium is a growth of scar-like tissue of the conjunctiva onto the edge of the cornea. They can appear on either side (or both sides) of the cornea, but they tend to occur more on the nose (nasal) side. They may increase in size over many years.
Small pterygia are common and often don’t cause significant symptoms. They can cause redness, irritation, tearing, difficulty with contact lens wear, poor cosmesis. If they get large, they can also affect the vision.
See risk factors below.
Ultraviolet exposure. Welding is a job-related risk.
Peripheral and central corneal scarring, permanent decreased vision.
Tests and Diagnosis
Slit lamp examination is essential. Corneal topography can demonstrate induced astigmatism.
Lubrication with tear drops, gels and ointments; surgical excision if progressive and causing symptoms. Pterygia may recur after surgical excision.
Sunglasses and lubrication.