A pterygium is a growth of flesh-like tissue that develops on the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the whites of your eyes, and disrupts your vision. At Universal Vision Medical Center in Costa Mesa, California, Farnoosh Tinoosh, MD, offers expert surgery to remove pterygium and protect your vision. Call or make an appointment online today for diagnosis and to learn about your treatment options.
A pterygium is a small fleshy growth on your conjunctiva. Your conjunctiva is the transparent tissue that covers your sclera, the white part of your eye.
Pterygiums have blood vessels and range in size. They can become so large they cover your pupil and block your vision.
Small pterygium might not cause any symptoms. However, you might notice that you have blurry vision and a red or swollen conjunctiva. Your eyes might also be dry, itchy, or burning. Many patients say they feel like they have sand or grit in their eyes.
Medical researchers haven’t identified the exact cause of pterygium. However, there are several risk factors, including exposure to the UV rays in sunlight and wind exposure. The growths are also more common in men.
Pterygiums usually develop on the nasal side of your eye. This part of your eye is more vulnerable because of the way sunlight passes through your eye.
The growths often begin as small pinguecula, which are small yellow spots or bumps on your eye. In some cases, these lumps grow and turn into a pterygium.
If your pterygium doesn’t obstruct your vision or cause other disruptive symptoms, Dr. Tinoosh might recommend waiting and observing the growth. If the growth interferes with your sight, he can surgically remove it.
Dr. Tinoosh uses a variety of treatments, including surgical removal or irradiation. After your surgery, he might provide an auto-grafting by suturing or gluing amniotic membranes to your eye. He can also carefully remove the growth from your eye in a precise surgical procedure.
Pterygiums often grow back, even after surgery. Dr. Tinoosh recommends having routine follow-up appointments after your treatment to monitor your eye health and any new growths.
Your eyes might feel gritty or itchy after your surgery, but don’t rub them. You can wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from sunlight and wind.
Dr. Tinoosh provides a guard to protect your eyes while you sleep. He might also prescribe eye drops to moisturize your eyes. This can sometimes prevent a pterygium from coming back.
If you have pterygium, make an appointment at Universal Vision Medical Center by calling or booking online. Even if the growth doesn’t disrupt your vision, Dr. Tinoosh should monitor your eye health.