Pterygium is a non-cancerous growth on the eyeball that extends to the cornea. The most common cause of a pterygium developing is frequent exposure to the sun’s UV rays without a hat or sunglasses to protect the eyes, which is why this lesion is sometimes called surfer’s eye. Symptoms may include irritation, itchiness, redness or burning. Left untreated, pterygium can distort the shape of the cornea, cause blurriness or loss of vision.
Most people will find relief with eye drops or ointments. When the problem does not resolve or begins to affect vision, surgical removal is recommended. Although a relatively low-risk procedure, recurrence of the pterygium is possible. New oculoplastic surgical techniques have been developed to reduce the likelihood of recurrence and shorten recovery time, with the eye appearing normal in just a few weeks.