The perils of ultraviolet (UV) light on your skin are well-documented, leading to photoaging and, sometimes, cancerous mutations. Your eyes are also susceptible to UV rays, and one of the common results of exposure is pterygium, sometimes known as surfer’s eye. Exposure to other elements like wind and dust also contribute.
Fortunately, pterygium isn’t cancerous. It’s usually not a serious condition, but it can cause discomfort or pain and affect your vision. Other times, it generates no symptoms at all. However, if you spend plenty of time outdoors, you could be at an elevated risk.
IC Laser Eye Care specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of pterygium. One of their offices — in Philadelphia and Bensalem, Pennsylvania, and Hamilton, New Jersey — should be your first call when symptoms become annoying. Wearing sunglasses every day, even when it’s cloudy, can help to prevent the development of pterygium, but when you start to detect the symptoms, expert eye care is your best bet.
It’s possible to have pterygium growths without experiencing symptoms. There’s no need for treatment unless these growths begin to impact your life. The signs and symptoms you might experience include:
Sometimes, you could find a yellowish bump called a pinguecula before the pterygium forms. Usually, problems start on the inside white of your eye, nearer your nose, but pterygium can begin on the other side, nearer your ear, as well.
Mild cases of pterygium may be treated with various types of eye drops. Over-the-counter eye drops that moisten or lubricate can ease some symptoms, while other formulations designed to reduce irritation and redness may be effective for others. Steroidal drops may be prescribed to more aggressively reduce swelling while treating itchiness, redness, and eye pain.
In more serious cases, when discomfort or pain can’t be relieved with more conservative treatment, pterygium may require surgery. Several surgical approaches to remove pterygium are available. The choice of method depends on the nature of your particular case.
It’s possible for pterygium to regrow after surgery. However, surgical technique and post-procedure medications can reduce the risk of this happening.
Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB light are perhaps your best protection against the development of pterygium. Wraparound glasses also provide you with protection against the drying conditions of wind while also blocking the path for dust and other foriegn matter.
Wide-brimmed hats can add to the protection afforded by sunglasses. Note that some UV rays can bounce around indoors, too. While your car’s windshield is treated for UV protection, side windows usually aren’t. Knowing where UV light can penetrate helps you to protect yourself.
For any eye-related concerns, including pterygium, contact IC Laser Eye Care for diagnosis and treatment. Call the nearest office directly, or use the appropriate online link. It’s up to you to say no to the appearance and irritation of pterygium, so book your consultation now.