Tuh-rij-ee-um…hope that helps, a mouthful indeed. Certainly not uncommon here in sunny Queensland as UV light is one of the strongest risk factors! It is essentially a wing-shaped thickened white tissue that slowly grows over the cornea (the window to our eye).
This is my quick spill about pterygium. On occasion, they can become red and irritable on the eye. If left untreated, apart from its unsightly appearance, scarring can set in and a resultant reduction in vision due to surface irregularity (astigmatism). Occasionally it may also be the beginning of a surface cancer (OSSN) although this is rare. I would liken a pterygium to a friend you don’t really want hanging around!
Great…what next doc?
If it is small and not causing any bother, it can be monitored. Size DOES matter here, so if is large or growing rapidly, surgery is recommended. This is done by removing the pterygium and transplanting a graft harvested from the surface of your own eye.
For a personalised consult, give us a shout at EyeHub.