Pterygium or Surfers Eye


What is Pterygium?

Pterygium is also known as Surfer’s eye. It is an extra growth that develops on the conjunctiva or the mucous membrane that covers the sclera (white part of the eye). It usually grows from the nasal side of the conjunctiva.

Symptoms of Pterygium

  • Foreign body sensation
  • Tearing from eyes
  • Dryness of eyes
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye irritation

Causes of Pterygium

  • Pterygium may be caused due to dryness in the eyes.
  •  It may be caused due to exposure to ultraviolet rays for long time.
  • It may be caused due to the dust

Tests for Diagnosing Pterygium

  • Slit lamp examination
  • A visual Activity test- It involves reading letters on an eye chart.
  • Corneal Topography –it is used to measure the curvature changes in your cornea.
  • Photo Documentation- It involves taking pictures to track the growth rate of Pterygium.


Complications of Pterygium

The most common complication of Pterygium is recurrence.

Post-operative complication of Pterygium surgery include:

  • Chances of infection
  • Corneal Scarring
  • Reaction to suture material
  • Retinal Detachment (Rarely)
  • Conjunctival graft dehiscence
  • Diplopia


Treatment for Pterygium

Medical: If the Pterygium is causing lot of irritation or redness, the doctor will prescribe eye ointment to reduce the inflammation.

Surgical: If the Pterygium is growing and don’t provide relief from ointment.  Eye doctor will recommend Surgery to remove the Pterygium.


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