Pterygium or Surfers Eye

What Is Pterygium or Surfers Eye

What Is Pterygium

Pterygium is a non-cancerous growth of tissue on the conjunctiva that can extend onto the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. It often appears as a pink, fleshy, triangular-shaped tissue that grows slowly across the white of the eye, and can cause irritation, redness, and discomfort. Pterygium is commonly associated with excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, particularly from sunlight, wind, dust, and other environmental factors. It can also be caused by chronic eye irritation and inflammation. In some cases, pterygium may require surgical removal if it affects vision or causes significant discomfort.

Pterygium can affect one or both of your eyes but usually not at the same time. When it affects both eyes at the same time, it’s called bilateral pterygium

At St Theresa’s Hospitals Hyderabad we use the best treatment modalities to prevent recurrence of the pterygium, though the risk of this happening in each particular case is not predictable. We offering comprehensive and contemporary treatment for Pterygium. St.Theresa’s Hospital is  known as Best Hospital in Hyderabad for conjunctiva autografts & amniotic membrane transplants to prevent recurrent pterygia.

St. Theresa's Hospital best quality Treatment for Pterygium in Hyderabad at most affordable cost

Best Hospital for Pterygium Surgery

Our Experts

Dr. Ramana Murthy

Dr. N.V. Ramana Murthy

M. B. B. S, M. S


Dr. Brunda

Dr. Brunda Moparthi

M. B. B. S, M. S


Experience – 3 Years

Symptoms of Pterygium

The symptoms of pterygium can vary depending on the size, location, and severity of the growth. Some common symptoms include:
  1. A raised, fleshy growth on the white of the eye
  2. Redness and inflammation of the eye
  3. Irritation or a gritty feeling in the eye
  4. Itching, dryness, and burning in one or both eyes
  5. Blurred or distorted vision, especially if the pterygium grows onto the cornea
  6. Sensitivity to light, particularly bright sunlight or glare
  7. A feeling of having a foreign body in the eye
  8. Constant tearing or watery eyes

It’s important to note that not all people with pterygium experience symptoms. However, if you notice any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention to prevent the growth from worsening or causing further damage to your eyesight.

Causes of Pterygium Eye

Below we have mentioned some of the many pterygium causes:

The exact cause of pterygium is not fully understood, but several factors have been associated with its development. Some of the most common causes of pterygium include:

  • Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light: Pterygium is more common in people who spend a lot of time outdoors, particularly in sunny environments. UV light can damage the conjunctiva and cause it to grow abnormally.
  • Dry, dusty or windy conditions: Prolonged exposure to dry, dusty, or windy conditions can cause eye irritation and inflammation, which may trigger the growth of pterygium.
  • Genetics: There is some evidence to suggest that certain genetic factors may increase the risk of developing pterygium.
  • Age: Pterygium is more common in people over the age of 40.
  • Gender: Pterygium is more common in men than in women.
  • Occupational and environmental factors: People who work in certain professions, such as farming, fishing, and construction, may be more prone to developing pterygium due to prolonged exposure to outdoor environments and UV light.

It’s important to note that while these factors may increase the risk of developing pterygium, not everyone who is exposed to them will develop the condition. However, if you are at risk for pterygium, it’s important to take steps to protect your eyes from UV light and environmental factors, such as wearing protective eyewear and using lubricating eye drops to keep your eyes moist.

Tests for Diagnosing Pterygium

  • Slit lamp examination: This is a type of microscope that uses a thin beam of light to examine the structures of the eye, including the conjunctiva, cornea, iris, and lens. It can help detect abnormalities such as pterygium and assess the severity of the condition.
  • Visual acuity test: This involves reading letters or numbers on an eye chart from a standardized distance to assess the clarity of vision. It is commonly used to check for refractive errors (such as nearsightedness or farsightedness) and to monitor changes in vision over time.
  • Corneal topography: This is a non-invasive imaging technique that uses a computerized system to map the curvature of the cornea. It can help detect irregularities in the cornea’s shape, which may be indicative of conditions such as keratoconus or pterygium.
  • Photo documentation: This involves taking photographs of the eye to document the growth rate and progression of pterygium over time. It can help monitor the condition and guide treatment decisions, especially in cases where surgery may be needed.

These tests and procedures may be performed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist, depending on the specific needs of the patient and the severity of the condition.

Complications of Pterygium

The most common complication of Pterygium is recurrence. In pterygium treatment, the post-operative complication of Pterygium surgery include:
  1. Infection: There is a small risk of infection following pterygium surgery, especially if proper sterilization techniques are not used or if the patient does not follow proper post-operative care instructions.
  2. Corneal scarring: This may occur as a result of surgical trauma or other factors, and can cause visual disturbances or reduced visual acuity.
  3. Reaction to suture material: Some patients may develop an allergic reaction or other adverse reaction to the suture material used in the procedure.
  4. Retinal detachment: This is a rare but serious complication that may occur following pterygium surgery, particularly in patients with pre-existing retinal conditions or risk factors.
  5. Conjunctival graft dehiscence: This occurs when the graft used to cover the area where the pterygium was removed becomes detached or separates from the underlying tissue.
  6. Diplopia: Double vision may occur in some patients, especially if the surgery affects the muscles that control eye movement.
    It is important for patients to discuss the potential risks and benefits of pterygium surgery with their eye doctor, and to follow all post-operative care instructions carefully to minimize the risk of complications.

Treatment for Pterygium Eye

Treatment for pterygium will depend on the severity of the symptoms and the extent of the growth. In some cases, medical treatment such as eye drops or ointments may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms such as irritation, redness, and dryness. However, if the symptoms persist or worsen despite medical treatment, surgical removal of the pterygium may be recommended.

Pterygium surgery involves removing the abnormal tissue and then covering the area with a graft of healthy tissue, such as conjunctival tissue from another part of the eye or amniotic membrane tissue. The goal of surgery is to prevent the pterygium from growing back and to restore normal vision and eye comfort.

The type of surgical procedure used will depend on the size and location of the pterygium, as well as other factors such as the patient’s age, general health, and medical history. In some cases, additional treatment such as radiation therapy or anti-inflammatory medications may be recommended to prevent recurrence and promote healing after surgery.