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What Is Pterygium?

Pterygium is a benign triangular-shaped growth on the white part of the eye. This wedge grows on the cornea, but more precisely, it grows on the conjunctiva which is the thin clear membrane that covers the surface of the eye. This growth is not cause for worry. However, it is always best to consult with your eye doctor for proper diagnosis and monitoring. 

This condition is also known as surfer’s eye. Despite the fact that you don’t need to be a surfer to get this growth, the name is linked to what is believed to cause it. Long and excessive exposure to the sun, sand, wind, and dust have all been associated to pterygium. Hence the importance of protecting your eyes with a quality pair of sunglasses.

Although pterygia are asymptomatic, some people do encounter certain symptoms including discomfort and a feeling of dryness or of a foreign body in the eye. In some more severe cases, when the pterygium invades the cornea, it can change the shape of the surface of the eye causing astigmatism or blurred vision. But, one of the main issues many people have, is the aesthetic appearance of the growth. 

Since this condition generally does not cause any issues, no treatment is done. For moderate pterygium, artificial tears and/or anti-inflammatory drops may be prescribed to minimize symptoms. In more severe cases, when the growth is very large, irritates the eye or impinges on the patient’s vision, the eye doctor, may suggest to have it removed through surgery. Even after removing the growth surgically, there is no guarantee that it will not reoccur even after complete removal.

If you want more information about your eye health or to simply shop our vast assortment of UV protecting sunglasses, visit your nearest IRIS store.

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