A pterygium (pronounced te-ri-gi-um, plural: pterygia) is fleshy tissue that grows in a triangular shape over the cornea. This is a growth of blood vessels and scar tissue at the junction of the coloured and white part of the eye. It is prevalent in countries with hot, dry and sunny climates like Australia and is thought to be the result of ultraviolet (UV) light damage.
- Reduced vision
- Wear wraparound sunglasses or glasses with a broad side, as UV light coming from the side is thought to cause the most damage.
- Wear a hat
- Avoid being outdoors during the hottest part of day
- Lubricants: e.g. Systane, Optive, Refresh
- Lubricant + Antihistamine + Vasoconstrictor eg. Naphcon A, Albalon A
- Steroids: e.g. FML, Prednefrin Forte, Maxidex drops are used sparingly as long term use can lead to cataract and glaucoma.
This is recommended if:
- The visual axis is threatened
- Excessive symptoms
- Unacceptable cosmesis
- The blood vessels and scar tissue are removed from the corneal surface
- A portion of conjunctiva from the same eye is stitched on to the sclera (white part of the eye) with dissolving sutures. The chance of recurrence is less than 5%
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