Pterygium: Causes & Treatments

A pterygium is a growth of pinkish tissue on the inner corner of the eye. It may start off small, but can grow and end up covering part of the cornea, potentially affecting your vision.


In many cases it is not serious, but can be irritating and feel like you have something in your eye.


Left untreated, a pterygium can extend across the pupil, causing obstructed or blurred vision.

Causes Of Pterygium

Pterygium can be caused by irritants like exposure to sunlight, wind, and dust, or chronic dry eye syndrome.

Prevention Of Pterygium

Protecting your eyes is the easiest way to prevent the growth of a pterygium. Wearing sunglasses when outdoors helps protect against exposure to sunlight (especially in areas with high levels of UV rays) and irritants like dust and wind.

Eye drops can help keep the eye clean and lubricated, and protect the eye membrane against dryness.

Palm frond glare

Treatment Of Pterygium

If the pterygium evolves to become bothersome, affects your vision, or keeps returning, it must be treated in an in-office surgical procedure. The best course of action is to consult with an ophthalmologist who will be able to determine size, atypical characteristics, and growth pace.

Conjunctival Autograft

As pterygium growth tends to recur, Conjunctival Autograft surgery is the most recommended treatment for it. The surgery not only removes the pterygium, but also reduces its chances of coming back. Furthermore, this procedure offers the best appearance results once completed.

Amniotic Membrane Graft

Another surgical option Dr. Besser employs is the Amniotic Membrane Graft technique, where a piece of amniotic membrane is sutured to the eye once the pterygium is removed.

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For more information on pterygia, or to set up an appointment with Dr. Besser, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

We look forward to welcoming you! We're located in Culver City, California.

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