How to Prevent Pterygium From Affecting Your Eyes

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A pterygium is a noncancerous growth that can appear in your eye. Besides an unwanted appearance, pterygium can also cause irritation and dry eye, among other symptoms.

The fleshy mass can grow quite large and be very noticeable. Removing a pterygium can be difficult, and regrowth is not uncommon. 

It’s best to try and prevent it from forming in the first place. Keep reading to learn how to prevent a pterygium from affecting your eyes!

What Causes Pterygium?

The exact cause of a pterygium is unclear. Although, it is often associated with overexposure to sunlight.

This is why you may also hear the growth called surfer’s eye. Surfer’s spend a lot of time outside, and because they are in the water, their vision is not always protected. 

Genetics may also play a role. Certain genes may cause a predisposition to pterygium. 

If the pterygium grows large enough, it can create noticeable problems. These include irritation, dry eye, redness, and even vision loss if the growth reaches your pupil. 

In rare cases, a pterygium can restrict the movement of your eye. 

What Steps Can I Take to Prevent a Pterygium from Forming?

It is not always possible to prevent a pterygium from forming. Since the cause of the growth is still being studied, prevention is never guaranteed. 

However, it is always a good idea to protect your eyes from the sun, and it may save you from having to deal with a pterygium. The first step is to try to limit your time in direct sunlight if possible.

Sunlight is good for you, but only in moderation. When you do go outside, wear sunglasses. 

Make sure the lenses say in writing 100% UVA and UVB protection, 100% UV 400 protected, or something similar. Without proper UV protection, sunglasses will not protect your eyes as well.

You should also wear a wide-brimmed hat with your sunglasses. This will create shade for your eyes. 

The less sunlight reaches your eyes, the less risk you will have of unwanted eye conditions, including pterygium. 

How is a Pterygium Removed?  

If you think you might have a pterygium forming in your eye, set up an eye exam at Stahl Eyecare in NYC. If you are developing a pterygium, you might not need treatment. 

Pterygium often do not cause symptoms, and you may barely notice that it is there. Those experiencing symptoms may be able to manage them with simple over-the-counter eye drops.

If the symptoms are more severe or regular artificial tears aren’t working, your eye doctor may prescribe topical steroids. If problems persist or the way the pterygium looks bothers you greatly, a removal surgery might be your best option. 

Pterygium removal involves removing the growth and grafting tissue in its place to try to prevent regrowth. There is a chance that pterygium may grow back after removal. 

To determine the best way to treat pterygium, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

Do you want to learn more about how to prevent pterygium? Schedule an appointment at Stahl Eyecare in Garden City, NY, today!

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