The pterygium is a tissue that can grow to cover the cornea of the eye. It can stay small and obscure, or grow to a point where it starts to obstruct vision. This happens most frequently from the inner corner of the eye, but can also happen on the outside corner of the eye.
The causes behind Pterygium are currently not completely understood. It tends to happen more to those who spend time outside, especially in sunnier climates. Exposure to sunlight over a long period of time, and eye irritation caused by dusty and dry conditions can play a role. Dry eye is a complication, and contributes to Pterygium.
When this tissue becomes inflamed and irritated, ointments or eye drops can be used to help combat the inflammation. If it grows large enough to obstruct vision, it can also be surgically removed.
Surgery is often a temporary solution, as the Pterygium can come back. Recurrence is especially prevalent in younger individuals. Radiation and specially formulated medications can help reduce the chances of reoccurrence.
What is Pinguecula?
A pinguecula forms on the white of the eye, showing up as a yellow hued patch or bump. Typically, it forms on the inner side of the eye, closest to an individual’s nose. Like a Pterygium a pinguecula can be caused by sunlight exposure or chronic irritation of the eyes.
Unless inflammation occurs, no treatment is necessary. A pinguecula won’t affect vision or grow into the cornea. In rare instances, they can be removed with surgery, but the scar left behind can be just as noticeable as the pinguecula itself.
The importance of regular eye exams
In order for the above and other eye complications and diseases to be diagnosed, it’s important to have regular eye exams by your doctor at Quigley Eye Specialists. Early diagnoses can result in faster treatment, meaning less eye complications.