Pterygium and Pinguecula

What is a Pterygium?

Pterygium is a degenerative superficial ocular condition that looks like a fleshy growth extending from the conjunctiva (the thin layer that covers the white part of the eyeball) into the cornea. It is commonly seen on people chronically exposed to UV rays.

Pinguecula is the same condition, but at an earlier stage when the degenerative process is still limited to the conjunctiva.

These conditions can be easily prevented by protecting your eyes from ultraviolet radiation. Our advice to patients is to make sure they wear sunglasses during daytime whenever they are outdoors. Make sure that the lenses on your sunglasses filter the entire spectrum of ultra-violet rays. Try to find a frame that wraps around your face, protecting the eyes not only at the front but also from the sides.

In most cases, treatment is conservative, involving lubrication and protection against irritants such as wind and bright light. However, surgery may be necessary when there is excessive irritation, or when a pterygium affects your vision by distorting the corneal contour.

Surgical excision requires meticulous removal of the abnormal tissue and taking intra surgical steps to prevent recurrences, such as covering the defect left with grafted tissue, and applying medications to control the healing response and scar tissue formation.