If you spend a lot of time in the sun, you may be at increased risk for developing a pterygium growth on your eye, a condition that disrupts your vision and can cause persistent itching and redness. At Longhorn Eye Care in Pflugerville, Texas, Dr. Adam Hart offers several treatment options, including pterygium surgery, to restore your eye health and improve your vision. To find out if pterygium surgery is right for you, schedule a consultation online or by calling Dr. Hart’s office.
The pterygium is a wedge-shaped growth on the eye that begins on the white of your eye and can travel to the cornea.
The condition is often known as surfer’s eye because ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the primary cause of the growth. Pterygium can also be the result of environmental factors like dust and wind or may develop as a complication of dry eye disease.
Pterygiums most often affects people between the ages of 30 and 50 and is rare in children. You may be at greater risk if you have light-colored eyes and light skin tones.
A pterygium typically grows on the side of the eye closest to your nose and can affect one eye or both. In mild cases, you may not have any symptoms that need medical intervention. In more serious cases, the growth can cause persistent itching or a gritty feel in your eye. There may also be inflammation that produces chronic redness.
When the pterygium advances into your cornea, it can cause a distortion on the front surface of your eye, leading to astigmatism that can affect the clarity and clearness of your vision.
Dr. Hart assesses the size of the pterygium to determine what treatment option is best. In mild cases, he may recommend regular monitoring of your vision to prevent scars and vision loss. Dr. Hart may also recommend steroid eye drops to control inflammation and redness.
For large pterygiums that interfere with your vision, Dr. Hart may recommend surgery. During this outpatient procedure, he removes the excess scar tissue from your cornea and the white part of your eye.
The surgery doesn’t last long, and you can expect to return home afterward. Dr. Hart may recommend wearing an eyepatch to protect your eye for a few days while it heals. Within a day or two of your surgery, you can return to your normal activities, including work.
Following your surgery, there is a possibility that the growth can come back if you continue to expose your eyes to the sun on a regular basis. Dr. Hart may recommend medication to reduce the chances of a pterygium recurrence.
If your eyesight is compromised by a pterygium growth, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hart online or by phone to learn about your treatment options.