TALLAHASSEE, FL 32308
A pterygium is a non cancerous mass that forms on the outer coating of the eye, called the conjunctiva, which is attached to the cornea. The growth can interfere with vision. Pterygium causes redness, irritation, tearing. These symptoms can be even more agitated with fatigue, dry eye, or dusty or windy environments. Pterygium is common for people living near the equator where the UV rays from the sun are much stronger (as it is here in Florida), is more likely to occur in men than women, and is often called "Surfer's Eye."
Although the exact cause of Pterygium formation is unknown, it has been associated with the following causes:
- Chronic eye irritations from dusty, dry environments
- Long-term exposure to sun light, especially Ultraviolet Rays
- Dry Eye
- Can occur when patients have spent a majority of their time outdoors in sunny and dusty climates
Pterygium Treatments and Pterygium Removal
Treatments for Pterygium include eye drops or ointments to soothe the inflammation. Sometimes, the growth can become advanced enough to interfere with vision, and if this is the case, the pterygia may have to be surgically removed. During surgery, the abnormal tissue is removed and this leaves the white of the eye exposed. It can take up to a month to completely heal.
Pterygia can grow back and sometimes have come back even bigger than its original size. This is very common. But in recent advancements, eye surgeons are using radiation treatments and antimetabolite chemicals that help prevent the abnormal tissue from returning.
Pterygia are often visible to the naked eye, and patients who suffer from them are already generally aware that they have them. However, if you are concerned about an itchy or uncomfortable feeling in your eyes or would like to be examined for pterygia, Palmer Eye Center is able to make that diagnosis and recommend the proper treatment for you if needed. If you already know for certain that you have Pterygium, and are interested in treatment or pterygium removal, our ophthalmologist, Dr. Richard Palmer, has extensive training in corneal surgery and would be happy to see you to discuss this option.
Palmer Eye Institute is pleased to serve the greater Tallahassee area, and we are an easy commute from the city center as well as the surrounding areas of Monticello, Drifton, Capps, Havana, Quincy, Midway and Woodville, Florida.