WHAT IS A PTERYGIUM?
A pterygium is a ‘wing of tissue’ that grows onto the cornea. (It’s pronounced Ti-Ridge-ium)
It is thought to be caused by UV exposure, particularly the amount you received in childhood.
COMMON PTERYGIUM SYMPTOMS
• Itching or burning
• Blurred vision
• Reddish tissue growing over the coloured part of your eye
• Ongoing sensation that something is in your eye
• Some patients may have no symptoms.
HOW CAN THEY AFFECT YOUR VISION?
A pterygium can affect your vision if it grows large enough to cross the visual axis (the centre of the pupil), or if it causes significant astigmatism. Astigmatism is where the cornea is shaped more like an egg or rugby football, rather than a perfect sphere.
Sometimes they can cause annoying irritation symptoms because they disturb the spread of the normal tear film or just look red and unsightly.
Small pterygiums that don’t bother you only require good UV protection with wrap-around sunglasses and the use of lubricant drops.
If they are larger and show accelerated growth, cause significant irritation or bother you with their appearance, they can be surgically removed.
If you decide to have surgery, make sure you choose a surgeon with a special interest in the disease.
These surgeons use a technique that has a minimal risk of them growing back, called a recurrence, and can guarantee an excellent cosmetic result.
Dr. Smallcombe is a leading specialist in the superior P.E.R.F.E.C.T. Pterygium surgery techniques.