A pterygium (TER-i-gee-um), also known as Carnosidad or Pterigión in Spanish, is a fleshy pink scar tissue that sometimes crosses the cornea (the clear front window of the eye). One or both eyes may be involved and a patient can have more than one pterygium in each eye.
Pterygiums can vary in size from small to large and are often visible on the eye before they cause symptoms. If you have a pterygium, it may feel like something foreign is in the eye and it can cause irritation, itchiness, and a burning sensation. If the pterygium grows large enough, it can also distort the cornea, causing blurred vision. Initially, the conjunctiva (clear mucous membrane that covers the white part of the eye) will thicken and look like a bump. This is called a pingueculum, the initial stage of a pterygium.
Chronic irritation or excessive exposure to UV light may cause the lesion to extend onto the cornea. Because pterygiums look like growths, people worry that they are malignant. However, the underlying process is degeneration, and pterygiums do not invade the eye, sinuses, or brain. Most pterygiums are slow growing and rarely cause significant problems like vision loss. Over time however, the growth of a pterygium can resemble tissue or film growing over the eye and can cause astigmatism. Pterygiums are treated with medications or surgery not only because of the discomfort they cause, but also for cosmetic purposes.
It all starts with a free Pterygium Consultation! Linda Vision’s special Pterygium Promotional Program includes:
- Natural graft to reduce the risk of pterygium recurrence
- Full medical eye exam before pterygium surgery
- Follow-up pterygum checkups for 12 months after surgery with Dr. Linda Vu, your pterygium surgeon.