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When Should Pterygium Be Removed?

Pterygium, also known as surfer’s eye, is a wedged-shaped growth that starts out on the clear tissue of the eye and spreads to the cornea. This condition is common, affecting about 3 million people in the United States. The origin of pterygia is unknown, but studies show high or long-term exposure to ultraviolet light and dry conditions, such as wind and dust, increase the likelihood of conjunctiva growth. Pterygia is more common for those residing and working in warm climates. Thankfully, pterygium is non-cancerous and usually painless. If this eye condition is not a huge cause for concern, when should pterygium be removed?

The first sign of pterygia is the appearance of a raised pink, white or red lesion on the eye, usually in the inner corner of the eye. Symptoms of pterygium are not often severe but can include eye irritation, redness and blurred vision, as well as an itchy or burning sensation in the eyes. Pterygium can also be bothersome for those who wear contact lenses. Eye surgery to remove pterygium is not necessary unless, despite the use of artificial tears for inflammation relief, astigmatism or vision loss occurs. If the pterygium continues to be irritated, grows large enough to threaten vision or becomes cosmetically unsightly, patients can elect to have it removed surgically. Unfortunately, pterygium removal is not always successful, which is why some surgeons advise against the surgery. It is possible for pterygia to grow back not only quickly but more aggressively than before. 

At Skyline Vision Clinic, pterygium can be diagnosed during a routine eye exam. Our experts will document any growth and measure astigmatism (abnormal curvature of the lens of the eye) that may be contributing to vision issues. It is both important and necessary to visit with an eye doctor as more serious conditions can present similarly to pterygium. 

Skyline Vision Clinic offers dedicated customer service in addition to cutting-edge eye care technology. Our full-service ophthalmology office invites you to schedule your next appointment with us by calling 719-630-3937 or visiting our website at WEBSITE