A pterygium is a pink, wedge-shaped growth extending from the inside corner of the eye towards the cornea, the clear dome covering the iris and pupil. The exact causes of pterygia are unknown, but frequent exposure to ultraviolet light, wind and irritants is common among people who develop them.
Pterygia are benign, but if left to develop can extend over the cornea, leading to obstruction of vision or astigmatism (corneal distortion). A pterygium can also cause chronic irritation or discomfort, a bloodshot appearance to the eye, and difficulty wearing contact lenses. In such cases, pterygium surgery is recommended.
Pterygium surgery involves making an incision in the membrane covering the white of the eye, through which the pterygium is lifted clear of the cornea and then excised. Pterygium surgery has a high success rate, with the likelihood of recurrence less than ten per cent.
Coastal Eye Centre offers the highest standard of expertise in pterygium surgery.