Causes and Risk Factors of Pterygiums and Pinguecula
Although the cause of pterygiums is not completely understood, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet and infrared radiation from sunlight have been implicated. Other chronic irritants, such as dust and wind, may play a role as well. Pterygiums have also been genetically linked, as can be seen by their presence among members of the same family.
Since the exact cause of pterygiums is unknown, nothing can be done to prevent you from developing a lesion. However, there are multiple preventative measures that can help stop or slow their growth. It is possible to stop the growth of pinguecula and prevent them from turning into pterygiums by lubricating the eyes with artificial tears and shielding them from the sunlight. Excessive dry and irritated eyes are perfect environments for growing pterygiums.
Pterygiums are seen on the surface of the eye and visibly noticeable even before they cause symptoms. Although some people constantly feel like they have a foreign body in their eye, most are asymptomatic early on. The eyes can become red, irritated, itchy, and experience a burning sensation. Because the lids can no longer spread the tears over a smooth area, dry areas may result, which in turn causes even more irritation that promotes the continual growth of the pterygium. If a pterygium reaches a large size, it can also stretch and distort the cornea inducing some astigmatism.
Do I have a Pterygium?
Depending on the size, you may or may not be able to tell if you have a pterygium. They tend to start out small and then slowly spread across the eye. At first they may not feel like anything, but then as they grow they can cause discomfort or the feeling of having something in your eye (like and eyelash). Patients in the Monterey Park area can visit Linda Vision for regular eye examinations with our eye doctors. They are able to tell if a pterygium is beginning to spread and will recommend having it removed as soon as possible with a membrane graft.
If you have any questions or concerns about pterygium or if you wish to seek treatment, schedule a consultation at our eye care center in LA.