A pterygium is a growth of tissue on the white part of the eye, which can extend onto the cornea.  Thought to be associated with UV and hot, dry environments, pterygia typically affect people who spend a lot of time outdoors.

They are very common; anyone can develop a pterygium.  Usually quite slow-growing, they should be checked by your eye health professional every 2 years to make sure they have not grown too far over the cornea.  If this happens, the pterygium can cause vision distortion and even block light from entering the eye.  Any rapid change in any tissue around the eye should be checked immediately.

Pterygia can cause irritation and discomfort, can become red and inflamed at times.  Lubricant drops can help reduce these symptoms.  Sometimes pterygia might need to be surgically removed.

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