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What is a Pterygium?
Pterygium is a disease of the eye that is raised, wedge-shaped growth of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the white of the eye. It is most common among patients who live in tropical climates or spend a lot of time in the sun.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms may include irritation, redness, and tearing. Pterygia are nourished by tiny capillaries that supply blood to the tissue. For some, the growth remains dormant; however, in other cases, it grows over the central cornea and affects the vision. As the pterygium develops, it may alter the shape of the cornea, causing astigmatism.
What are the Treatment Options?
Since pterygia are most commonly caused by sun exposure, protecting the eyes from sun, dust, and the wind is recommended. Instilling artificial tears liberally is also helpful to decrease irritation. In some cases, steroid drops are prescribed to reduce inflammation.
If the pterygium is causing irritation or inducing astigmatism it can be surgically removed. The surgery is called a Pterygiectomy and is performed in the Operating Suite. The biggest risk of the surgery is regrowth of the Pterygium. To reduce the risk of regrowth, normal conjunctival tissue is transplanted in the area where the Pterygium was located.
Our medical practice offers no-stitch Pterygiectomy. In the past, this transplanted tissue was held in place with small sutures. Our practice was one of the first in the area to use Tissue glue instead of sutures. This reduces irritation after surgery and speeds the healing process.
When to Get Treatment
Many of the symptoms of a Pterygium can also be attributed to other issues affecting the eyes. If symptoms persist, arranging a consultation to diagnose this condition is highly advised. This will allow patients to find out whether their issues are caused by a Pterygium or another kind of eye issue.
While there are some home remedies for this eye problem, it is safer and more effective to seek out the opinions of medical professionals at LaserCare Eye Center. If the problem is caught early on, over-the-counter treatments can be enough to keep the Pterygium from becoming severe enough to require more drastic procedures.
To ensure that the symptoms that the patient is experiencing are indicative of a Pterygium—which can then be treated right away—patients need to schedule a consultation. This can help reduce the need for surgical options if the problem is caught early enough.
During the consultation, the patient’s eyes will be examined, and they will be asked for details about their symptoms. They will be asked questions about their medical history and lifestyle.
Once the Pyerygium is diagnosed, treatment options will be discussed, and an effective treatment will be recommended. Any questions that the patient may have regarding treatment options can be discussed during the consultation.
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