Can I Have Pterygium Removed?

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woman in white hat and sunglasses standing in front of the ocean

Sunlight is important for good health, but too much of it can have disastrous impacts on your body. Apart from skin cancer that it is known to cause, ultraviolet radiation from the sun is particularly hard on the eyes.

There are many different eye problems associated with overexposure to sunlight. One of the most interesting and visibly apparent is a pterygium. This is also known as “surfer’s eye” due to its relationship with sunlight.

A pterygium is a fleshy growth of tissue that stretches from the corner of the eye (often the inside corner) across the white of the eye. Left unchecked, the pterygium can spread all the way into the pupil, causing difficulty with vision.

Despite its relation to the sun, pterygia are benign growths. They can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms like:

  • Redness and swelling, particularly around the pterygium itself.
  • A yellow bump on your eye known as a pinguecula, but can turn into a pterygium.
  • Itchy, dry, and gritty eyes.
  • Blurry vision.

These are additions to the fact that a pterygium is also quite noticeable. The growth slowly begins to creep across your iris.

Over time it will take up more and more space and become more visible. While this may sound unpleasant, there is a surgical solution to a pterygium. Keep reading to learn more about pterygium!

Pterygium Removal

Being as they are a benign growth and aren’t a threat, most doctors won’t recommend surgery unless it affects your vision. They may also recommend surgery if it’s causing you discomfort.

Before recommending surgery, doctors may prescribe eye drops. This will keep your eyes lubricated, reducing redness and swelling.

If you do need surgery, you can have the pterygium removed. After cutting the growth away, a thin piece of normal eye tissue is grafted in its place.

This lowers the chance of regrowth, but unfortunately, there is always a possibility it could come back. The best way to handle pterygium is to not get them in the first place.

Can I Prevent Pterygium From Developing?

Practicing good eye care habits while in the sun will save you lots of money, time, and frustration. This will help to prevent even worse problems from developing.

Try to limit your time outdoors if you can. The best way to avoid sunlight is to stay out of it for extended periods of time.

When you do go outdoors, be sure to wear sunglasses that provide you with 100% UV protection. Wearing sunglasses that do not filter out UV light is actually worse for your eyes than not wearing sunglasses at all.

They cause your pupils to open up to allow more light in. If this light contains ultraviolet light, it can do a lot of harm very quickly.

Also consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat to give your eyes shade while protecting them by wearing sunglasses. The safety of your eyes is important.

Pterygia are the least of the problems that sunlight can create for them. Schedule an appointment with Stahl Eyecare Experts in Hauppauge, NY to learn more about your eyes and what you can do to protect them.


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