Pterygium Treatment in Los Angeles & Monterey Park
Pterygium, commonly known as “surfer’s eye,” is a benign elevated growth of fleshy pink scar tissue that develops on the white portion of the eye (conjunctiva) and can sometimes cross the cornea (the transparent portion of the front of the eye). Pterygium can vary in size and cause several symptoms including irritation, itchiness and a burning sensation. In some cases, the patient may not experience any symptoms and therefore does not need treatment. But if the pterygium grows large enough, it can scar the cornea and permanently distort vision.
If you are experiencing discomfort and/or vision problems due to pterygium or pinguecula (the initial stage of pterygium), Dr. Linda Vu of Linda Vision can help. The board-certified ophthalmologist has extensive experience treating pterygium with both non-surgical and surgical methods. She can evaluate the size of the pterygium and your symptoms in order to determine the appropriate treatment plan.
If a pterygium is small and the symptoms are mild, Dr. Vu may prescribe lubricants or a mild steroid eye drop to reduce swelling and redness. Contact lenses can also be prescribed to cover the growth and protect it from the effects of dryness or UV exposure, which can worsen the pterygium.
In some cases, non-surgical treatment only offers a temporary solution. Follow-up appointments with Dr. Vu are necessary to monitor the pterygium and determine whether surgery is necessary.
Surgical intervention may be necessary when the pterygium has caused serious visual distortion or excessive discomfort. It is important to note that there is a high chance of the pterygium returning after surgery. In order to minimize the chances of regrowth, Dr. Vu removes an unaffected portion of the conjunctiva and sutures it onto the affected area. Studies have shown that this grafting technique lowers the pterygium recurrence rate to less than 5 percent.
Surgery is performed in Dr. Vu’s office under local anesthesia. The surgery typically takes no more than 30 minutes to complete. Following the procedure, you may need to wear an eye patch to protect the eye as it heals. Dr. Vu may prescribe steroid eye drops for you to use for several weeks after surgery. Most patients are able to resume their normal activities the following day. In order to lower your risk of pterygium recurrence, protection from the sun, dust and wind are advised.
Linda Vision’s Pterygium Treatment Program
Regardless of symptoms and the severity of the pterygium, the condition should be monitored by a board certified ophthalmologist regularly in order to prevent it from getting progressively worse. As a leading pterygium surgeon, Dr. Vu offers patients comprehensive care that includes a full eye exam to evaluate symptoms and follow-up appointments for 12 months after surgery. To learn more about pterygium treatment, please contact Linda Vision. Schedule a FREE pterygium consultation with Dr. Vu by calling (626) 382-2020 today.