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Pterygium Removal

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Pterygium, known as Surfer’s eye, is a common eye condition that is known to effect people who are frequently outdoors. It involves the growth of the conjunctiva onto the cornea, known to grow from the side of eye, close to the nose. This condition can gradually increase over time, and can even cover the pupil to seriously obstruct vision.

The condition is not life threatening and is not known to have many lasting effects, but it does need to be treated before vision is severely lost.


Most cases of pterygium are seen in those who spend a lot of time outdoors. Perhaps people who work outdoors most of the day, those who avidly partake in sports, or even those sensitive to the sun. In whatever case, exposure from ultraviolet rays can cause Pterygium. Exposure to dust, dry eyes and wind is also common in patients who have Pterygium.


Though symptoms of pterygium are not invasive to your health, they are known to be rather annoying. Many cases don’t follow with symptoms, but others might suffer from things like:

  • Irritation in the eyes
  • A burning sensation
  • Inflammation
  • Discomfort from the feeling of there being ‘something in your eye’

Preventing the condition from starting or even worsening would simply be to remove yourself from the environment that is causing pterygium. You can try protecting your eyes by wearing UV shielding sunglasses both in the sun and even at night, as needed. For some this might be simple, but for others who are constantly in sunny or windy areas and can’t seemingly remove themselves from these places or take precautions, removing the pterygium is the only answer.



Thankfully, pterygium most often doesn’t require treatment. Eye-drops and other topical ointments can be used to alleviate the discomfort and irritation, but long lasting treatment is usually unneeded.


The only time pterygium requires surgical treatment is when the conjunctiva is affecting vision directly, and other methods of treatment have failed. With an obstruction in vision, pterygium removal is performed. Because the surgery can inflict risks, like the possibility of a worsened conjunctiva, surgery is only considered when a patient’s current condition definitely needs surgical attention.

The procedure is intended to remove the growth from areas that affects vision. Pterygium removal can be performed a number of different ways, and new procedures are being tested every day. Normally, grafts are put in places of the area where the pterygium was removed. This can be done by various methods, but it all depends on the case and what the surgeon suggests to do after diagnosing your condition.

Pterygium is an outpatient procedure normally completed in less than an hour.

The doctors at West Medical can help diagnose and treat pterygium. With dedication to minimally invasive procedures that ensure quality results, our ophthalmologists are focused on providing you with the best service possible.

If you feel like your vision is being obstructed because of pterygium, call West Medical today at (855) 690-0565 to set up a consultation to treat your pterygium. We look forward to hearing from you!

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