A pterygium is a benign wing shaped piece of thickened, vascularized, conjunctival tissue that grows onto and across the cornea. A pterygium can grow from the nasal side or temporal side of the sclera, towards the center of the cornea. These can stretch the cornea causing astigmatism and blurred vision.

Causes of pterygium include chronic exposure to outdoor dry, dusty, windy, or sunny conditions.

Prevention of Pterygium Formation

Wearing sunglasses with both UVA and UVB protection can help prevent pterygium formation.

Treatment of a Pterygium

Initially, little to no treatment may be required. Lubricating drops may be used for comfort, if the eye becomes irritated and the pterygium becomes inflamed.

When the pterygium begins to cover the pupil, vision is affected, and surgical removal is usually necessary.

If the pterygium induces astigmatism and subsequent blurred vision, surgical removal will correct the problem.

Pterygium can often recur after excision. Thus, simple excisions are no longer completed.

Excision with 5fu, or mitomycin, along with a conjunctival auto graft, with or without stitches, is usually the surgery of choice by most surgeons.

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