A pterygium is a non-cancerous, pinkish, triangular-shaped tissue (conjunctiva) growth that lays over the white part of the eye (sclera) on the cornea. Pterygia are more common in sunny climates and among people between the ages of 20 and 40; however, the exact cause is unknown. Studies suggest that where sunlight is strong, wearing protective eyeglasses, sunglasses, and/or hats with brims may help reduce the incidence of pterygium.

A pterygium is usually not too noticeable unless it becomes red and swollen from dust, air or other pollutants. Surgical options to remove a pterygium can be considered during your comprehensive evaluation with a Woolfson surgeon if it has a suspicious appearance. This is important to review because it can affect your vision and cause significant discomfort.

There are instances, because a pterygium is visible, where patients choose to have it removed for cosmetic reasons. You should feel free to discuss this with your surgeon during your evaluation.

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