Pterygium

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What is a Pterygium?

A pterygium is a raised, wedge-shaped growth that invades the cornea.  It is an abnormal process in which the conjunctiva (a membrane that covers the white of the eye) grows into the cornea.

Symptoms

  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Inflammation
  • Tearing
  • Foreign body sensation
Pterygium Pterygium-2

Treatment

Although there are no known causes of pterygium, this condition occurs more often in people that have more exposure to outdoor elements such as wind or sunlight, specifically people who work in windy or sunny conditions.

Pterygium is usually not treated unless the condition irritates the patient or vision becomes impaired from the growth spreading over the cornea. Then surgery is recommended.

Dr. Jackson performs a procedure called Amniotic Membrane Transplantation (AMT) with fibrin glue (no stitches).  The result of using amniotic membrane for pterygium surgery offers aesthetic improvement with decrease pain, dryness, and discomfort.  The technique also helps the eye rehabilitate quickly and appear whiter,  reducing the chance of the  pterygium growing back.

Pterygia can have up to a 50% recurrence rate even after surgery. The use of sunglasses and hats are recommended for patients to try to prevent return.

The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that you have pterygium.  However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact our office to schedule a complete exam with Dr. Jackson.