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What is pterygium?

Pterygium is a common ophthalmic condition in which an abnormal growth of tissue forms on the conjunctiva, the thin membrane that covers the surface of the eye and the inside of the eyelids.

Pterygium is usually a pink or translucent growth that may start on the inner or outer side of the eye and slowly progress to the cornea, the transparent part of the eye. It can be caused by excessive exposure to sunlight, wind, dust or other environmental irritation. Chronic inflammation can contribute to pterygium formation.

Some common symptoms of pterygium include redness of the eye, foreign body sensation, dryness or irritation. In some cases, the pterygium may grow large enough to cover part of the cornea, causing visual disturbances.

Treatment for pterygium depends on the severity of symptoms. In mild cases, the use of lubricating eye drops and protection of the eyes from irritants may be sufficient. In more severe cases or if pterygium growth causes significant visual disturbances or persistent symptoms, surgical treatment may be necessary 

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If you suspect the presence of a pterygium, you should seek a diagnosis from your primary care physician or a medical specialist, the ophthalmologist, who will be able to indicate the best course of action for each specific situation.


The treatment of pterygium depends on the severity of the symptoms and the progression of the condition. In mild cases, where pterygium does not cause significant symptoms or visual disturbances, it may be sufficient to take some self-protective measures and monitor the situation closely. Here are some treatment options for pterygium:

1. Lubricating eye drops: Regular use of lubricating eye drops can help relieve symptoms of dryness or irritation caused by pterygium.
2. Sun protection: It is important to protect the eyes from intense sunlight and irritants. Wearing sunglasses that block UV rays and a wide-brimmed hat can help reduce exposure to irritants.
3. Anti-inflammatory drops: In some cases, anti-inflammatory drops may be prescribed to reduce the inflammation and discomfort associated with pterygium.
4. Surgery: If pterygium causes significant visual disturbance, persistent symptoms or is expanding toward the cornea, surgery may be needed to remove it. Pterygium surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist and is usually an outpatient procedure.