Pterygia are wedge- or wing-shaped growths of benign fibrous tissue with blood vessels (fibrovascular), typically located on the surface tissue of the sclera. In extreme cases, pterygia may grow onto the eye’s cornea and interfere with vision. Because a pterygium resembles tissue or film growing over the eye, a person who has one may become concerned about personal appearance.
Many people with pterygia do not experience symptoms or require treatment. Some pterygia may become red and swollen on occasion, and some may become large or thick. This may cause concern about appearance or create a feeling of having a foreign body in the eye. Large and advanced pterygia can actually cause a distortion of the surface of the cornea and induce astigmatism.
Treatment depends on the pterygium’s size and the symptoms caused by the pterygium. If a pterygium is small but becomes inflamed, Dr. Kagan may prescribe lubricants or possibly a mild steroid eye drop to reduce swelling and redness. In some cases, surgical removal of the pterygium is necessary.
For those patients who desire or need removal of pterygia, Dr. Kagan has developed a special method to easily and safely removes pterygia. Dr. Kagan performs the procedure in his state of the art office. Patients then go home the same day after the procedure.
As pterygia associated with excessive sun or wind exposure, wearing protective sunglasses with side shields and/or wide brimmed hats and using artificial tears throughout the day may help prevent their formation or stop further growth. Surfers and other water-sport athletes should wear eye protection that block 100% of the UV rays from the water, as is often used by snow-sport athletes. People with pterygium should be seen by an ophthalmologist annually, so that encroachment on the pupil can be recognized and treated before interference with vision.
Call our office TODAY at 323-937-2269 to schedule consultation with Dr. Kagan to find out which procedure is best for you!