WHAT IS PTERYGIUM?
This is a triangular growth from the conjunctiva (lining of the eye) onto the cornea (clear natural watch crystal of the eye). It arises most often from the nasal conjunctiva but the major cause is chronic exposure to sunlight. Often, patients require a pterygium eye treatment.
• Cosmetic concern.
• Ocular irritation and redness if the pterygium has become inflamed.
• Reduced vision is rare in developed countries. It may occur due to growth towards the centre of the cornea or induced astigmatism.
• Pterygia are usually nasal, less often temporal.
• Localised decreased tear wetting causing dryness.
• Localised conjunctival redness.
PTERYGIUM EYE TREATMENT OPTIONS
• Patients can be reassured that visual loss from pterygium is uncommon.
• Advise on wearing UV-blocking sunglasses.
• Pterygium surgery: surgical excision is the only definitive treatment option.
Pterygium excision with conjunctival autograft using biological glue in a sutureless technique.
• Chronic/recurrent redness and irritation.
• Blurred vision from induced astigmatism.
• Encroachment on the visual axis.
Simple pterygium excision has an unacceptably high recurrence rate. This is reduced significantly by an additional treatment option with conjunctival autografting and is reduced even further by sutureless biological glue technique. This pterygium eye treatment usually involves harvesting a free conjunctival graft from the superior bulbar conjunctiva. The graft is sized according to the conjunctival defect created by removal of the pterygium. The graft is fixed with tissue glue.