Do I Need Surgery To Correct Pterygium?

By pendletoneye January 18, 2023

Surgery is a concerning word in many cases but even greater when thinking about a laser or scalpel coming near one of the most delicate organs of the body: the eyes. Most of us would rather avoid eye surgery if at possible. Sometimes, however, surgery is necessary for removal of growths in the eyes that obstruct, diminish, or damage vision. As “surfer’s eye” is a result of a fleshy, pink growth that begins at the inner corner of the eye, patient’s have been known to ask, “do I need surgery to correct pterygium?”

Pterygium is believed to develop due to high or long-term exposure to ultraviolet light and dry conditions, such as wind and dust, hence the nickname “surfer’s eye”. Pterygia is more common for those residing and working in warm climates. Although pterygium is considered a common condition, surgery to remove or correct it is not as common. Symptoms of pterygium are not often severe but can include eye irritation, redness, and blurred vision, as well as an itchy or burning sensation in the eyes. Pterygium can also be bothersome for those who wear contact lenses. Eye surgery to remove pterygium is not necessary unless, despite the use of artificial tears for inflammation relief, astigmatism or vision loss occurs. If the pterygium continues to be irritated, grows large enough to threaten vision, or becomes cosmetically unsightly, patients can elect to have it removed surgically. Unfortunately, pterygium removal is not always successful, which is why some surgeons advise against the surgery. It is possible for pterygia to grow back not only quickly but more aggressively than before.

To know for sure if you need surgery to correct pterygium, Pendleton Eye offers comprehensive eye exams to check the health, structure, and changes to your vision. Call today at 760-758-2008 or book your appointment online at Pendleton Eye.