Pterygium

Eye Treatment Center

Board Certified Ophthalmologists & Optometrists located in Long Beach, CA

Pterygium is a common type of eye surface growth among adults today. Often, a pterygium causes irritating symptoms like itchiness, redness, scratchiness, and pain, which is why prompt treatment is so important. Eye Treatment Center offers both medical and surgical solutions for pterygium. Don’t wait to get relief: Call the Long Beach, California, office now, or click the appointment tool anytime.

Pterygium Q & A

What does a pterygium look like?

A pterygium usually appears as a pink, fleshy growth on your eyeball. It usually starts in the inner corner of the conjunctiva and can extend onto the cornea (the surface of your eye). Your Eye Treatment Center specialist can typically diagnose a pterygium during a comprehensive eye exam. 

What symptoms does a pterygium cause?

Pterygia don’t always cause symptoms, but in some cases, they can cause inflammation, itchiness, watery eyes, a foreign body sensation, and eye pain. Sometimes, a pterygium can even cause irregular corneal curvature (astigmatism) that leads to blurry vision.

Even if your pterygium is asymptomatic, it can be distressing in terms of appearance. Fortunately, the Eye Treatment Center team has considerable experience in pterygium diagnosis, medical treatment, and surgical removal. 

What caused my pterygium?

Although the exact cause isn't certain, you're more likely to develop a pterygium if you're often outdoors. It appears that ultraviolet (UV) light exposure may be a primary factor, so it's important to protect your eyes and minimize sun exposure before and after your treatment to prevent further growth or recurrence.

What is the best treatment for a pterygium?

It depends on your symptoms. In some cases, prescription eye drops can soothe irritation and relieve symptoms, but they don't remove or reduce your pterygium. 

If your pterygium is big enough to cause chronic issues and/or interferes with your vision, surgical removal is usually the best solution. The Eye Treatment Center surgeons perform pterygium removal on an outpatient basis. 

Depending on how much tissue your surgeon needs to remove, they may add new, healthy tissue to your eye using an amniotic membrane graft or donor tissue from another part of your eye (a conjunctival autograft). 

By restoring your eye to normal dimensions, you dramatically minimize the chance of recurrence. Grafts are also important for returning your eye to its normal, healthy appearance. 

Your surgeon may also use a drug called mitomycin-C, an antitumor medication that inhibits pterygium regrowth. 

Eye Treatment Center recommends that all pterygium patients wear sunglasses, reduce sun exposure, and take other specific protective measures like using goggles for swimming after pterygium removal surgery. 

For pterygium removal, reach out to the specialists at Eye Treatment Center by phone or through the online appointment tool today.