Pterygium and Pingedulum

What causes pterygium and pingedulum?

This condition usually occurs after years of exposure to sun, dust and wind. This is a non-malignant growth that occurs either in the cornea (front of the eye) or conjunctiva (the white part of the eye).

What are the symptoms?

The pterygium can cause the eye to have an unpleasant appearance with constant redness.

Irritation and redness especially on hot windy days or in smoky or dusty environments.

Visual distortion. This can happen when the pterygium has become quite large.

What treatments are available?

Eye drops can relieve the irritation temporarily. Lubricants can also help. Steroid drops can be used as a short-term measure, but if you need to use these often you may need surgery.

What does surgery involve?

The procedure takes about 45 minutes and requires a day hospital stay and the use of an operating microscope. Local anaesthetic is used and the experience is no worse than a trip to the dentist. After surgery it will take about 6 weeks for the eye to settle and you will need 4-5 days off work. Your glasses prescription may need to be changed after pterygium surgery.