Pterygium Specialist

IC Laser Eye Care

Ophthalmology & Eye Surgery Center located in Philadelphia, PA, Bensalem, PA, & Hamilton, NJ

Are you suffering from eye discomfort? Have you noticed a raised growth on the surface of your eye? Get it checked out at IC Laser Eye Care. The team offers comprehensive diagnosis and care for pterygium — noncancerous growths caused by sun exposure — to keep your eyes as healthy as possible. Contact one of the three locations in Bensalem and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Hamilton, New Jersey for an appointment today.

Pterygium Q&A

What is a pterygium?

A pterygium is a raised growth on the surface of your eye. Often called surfer’s eye, it appears red and wedge-shaped, beginning in the white of your eye (sclera) and extending toward the center of your eyeball.

The growth often begins on the white of your eye near your nose, but it may also appear on the other side of your eye, closer to your ear. As it gets bigger, a pterygium can enter the cornea and impact your vision.

Pterygia are noncancerous growths, but they can be unsightly and uncomfortable. Common symptoms include a gritty, itching, or burning sensation in the eye. Treatments are focused on improving appearance, reducing discomfort, and preventing vision loss.

What causes a pterygium?

Extended exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light is the main cause of pterygia. Other outdoor factors, like wind and dust, may contribute to the development of a pterygium. People who spend long hours outside, particularly on the water, are at the greatest risk of developing a pterygium. 

Pterygia are most common in people ages 30-50. Having light skin and light eyes or chronic dry eye disease may also increase your risk of pterygium.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, take steps to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and other environmental elements. Wear sunglasses that wrap around your eyes and block UV light to protect them from all angles. 

Do I need pterygium surgery?

Small pterygia can be managed with eye drops that lubricate your eye or temporarily reduce swelling and redness. The IC Laser Eye Care team closely monitors your pterygium to reduce your risk of permanent damage.

Surgery is an effective method to treat severe pterygia because removing a large growth can reduce your risk of corneal scarring and vision loss. It’s also an option if you’re bothered by the appearance of a pterygium. 

There are several surgical techniques for removing a pterygium, and your IC Laser Eye Care surgeon discusses your options with you. Pterygium excision generally takes less than 30 minutes. You may need to wear an eye patch for a few days to give your eye time to heal.

Find advanced care for pterygia and other conditions affecting your eye health at IC Laser Eye Care. To schedule an appointment, call the location nearest you today.