Pterygium (Surfer’s Eye): What Causes it and its Symptoms

Pterygium is an eye condition popularly known as surfer’s eye because surfers work in the same conditions that cause pterygium- windy/humid. Once your eyes are affected by pterygium, the vision gets hampered, and sight becomes blurry. In this blog, you will discuss about pterygium and what causes the condition.

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Pterygium: An Insight

Pterygium, which is pronounced as tur-IJ-ee-um, affects the conjunctiva of the eyes. An abnormal growth starts building up, which is fleshy and milky upon the conjunctiva of the eyes. The conjunctiva comprises the white portion of the eyes and ends at the cornea.The pterygium eye has a triangular-shaped irregularity, which builds from the corners of the eyes. Pterygium may affect both eyes, but mostly it occurs in one eye at a time. If it happens in both eyes simultaneously, it’s known as bilateral pterygium.

Symptoms of Pterygium

When pterygium starts, it is difficult to identify the condition in the initial stages as the symptoms are not visible. Usually, by the time the condition is identified, it has already reached a mild/severe stage. However, here’s a list of symptoms through which you can identify the disease early on.

Early Pterygium Symptoms
·         Mild to severe swelling
·         Constant feeling that something is stuck in the eyes.
·         Burning sensation
·         Watery eyes
·         Redness in the eyes
·         Pink bump-like growth on the eye


Severe Pterygium Symptoms
·         Lesion starts expanding
·         Eyes look disoriented due to the shape of the lesion present
·         Blurred eyesight

 Pterygium Causes

Pterygium or surfer’s eyes is caused due to excess growth of conjunctiva tissue. As the name suggests, the condition is caused due to living in an environment like a surfer, which includes- excess exposure to harmful UV rays due to not wearing proper eye protection gear and exposure to hot/dry weather consisting of dust.

Diagnosis of Pterygium

A device named slit lamp is used for the diagnosis of pterygium. The slit lamp falls in the microscope’s family, which focuses on the slit of your eyes. By focusing on the slit, the doctor peeks into the eyes to find the cause of the issue. Mostly for diagnosing conditions like pterygium, a slit lamp is normally used. Other tests that might be used include:

  • Corneal Topography
  • Visual Acuity Test

Pterygium Treatment: Is Surgery Necessary?

It is not a compulsion to get surgery for pterygium till the time it is not hampering your vision or day-to-day life. However, getting regular check-ups is essential to ensure the condition doesn’t grow. The doctor may recommend eye ointments in the initial stages to bring back the needed lubrication. Moreover, eye drops are prescribed to bring down the itching and pain.

Pterygium surgery is required when oral medications and eye drops/ointments are not relieving the condition. Or when pterygium starts increasing, causing a blockage in the vision.

What happens in the surgery?

There are many surgical options for pterygium; it mostly depends on the severity of the condition and the doctor’s opinion.

  • During the surgery, pterygium is removed from the roots.
  • Once the pterygium is safely removed, a thin sheet is put on the affected area called the amniotic membrane to heal the eye.
  • The affected area is covered with new conjunctiva; mostly, the conjunctiva is taken from the back side of the eye. After this surgery, the pterygium is likely not to show up again.
  • Along with the surgery, other medications are prescribed to ensure the eyes are cured as soon as possible and bring the eye back to a healthy state.

Bring Down Pterygium with Dr Agarwals Eye Hospitals

Dr Agarwals Eye Hospitals is a well-known chain of Hosptials that offers top-notch eye treatments to its patients. Their hospitals are spread across India with fully functioning eye hospitals in international locations too. Additionally, they are known for their best-in-class ophthalmological equipment, and the positive testimonials only uplift their validity.

If you are struggling with any eye condition, you should not think twice before booking an appointment with them. Visit their website today and book an appointment.

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