A pterygium is a pink, fleshy tissue growth onto the conjunctiva, which is the transparent tissue that lines the eye. This growth occurs mostly on the inner side of the nose side of the eye and grows towards the pupil. The early symptoms of pterygium include a feeling as if something is in your eye or feeling gritty, burning, itching and redness. At this point, your ophthalmologist will use a slit lamp microscope to make the diagnoses. If your symptoms are mild, and your vision has not been blurred or obstructed by the pterygium, it is possible to treat the condition with eye drops or eye ointments which might include steroid eye drops.
It is usually caused by dry eyes, irritants or excessive sun or UV ray exposure. Although this fleshy growth may seem scary, this is not a serious condition; however, the tissue can cause symptoms of irritation, blurred vision, redness and discomfort. In most some cases, a pterygium may be treated with eye drops; however, occasionally pterygium removal surgery may be recommended if the pterygium causes vision impairment, is massive or is painful.
A pinguecula is very similar to a pterygium and is often confused; however, a pinguecula only grows onto the conjunctiva and will not grow across the cornea or obstruct your vision. A pinguecula will usually form in the inner corner of the eye near the nose, and although it looks similar to a pterygium, it looks more like a bump than a tissue growth. The symptoms of a pinguecula are similar to that of pterygium and are also caused by the same environmental factors. Pingueculae are usually treated with eye drops