Level 4, 187 Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: 02 9247 9972
Fax: 02 9232 3086
Email: patientservices@eyeassociates.com.au

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pterygiumPterygium is an overgrowth onto the cornea of the conjunctiva, the layer lining the sclera or white of the eye. The overgrowth results in a fleshy spot growing onto the cornea or clear window of the eye. It is more likely to occur with excessive sun and exposure, and often progresses over time. Pterygia cause redness, irritation and tearing. If they are large they can interfere with vision, first by altering the shape of the cornea and inducing astigmatism, and if very large can directly block vision.

Treatment consists of avoiding sun and wind exposure including wearing sunglasses, preferably wrap-around sunglasses. Artificial tear drops also help with irritation. If the pterygium is still troublesome it could be removed surgically under local anaesthetic. Once the pterygium has been removed, the bare sclera is covered with conjunctiva from underneath the upper eyelid to minimize the risk of recurrence.