It’s commonly called “surfer’s eye,” but you don’t have to be a surfer to get a pterygium — a noncancerous growth on the surface of your eye. At Eye Care & Surgery, with two New York City locations in Washington Heights in Manhattan and another near the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, right across the street from Yankee Stadium, the team of skilled ophthalmologists provides expert non-surgical and surgical treatment for a pterygium. To see if pterygium surgery is right for you, call your nearest Eye Care & Surgery office or book online to schedule an eye exam.
A wedge-shaped growth in your eye, a pterygium typically grows in the white part of your eyeball. If it gets large enough, it can also cover part of your cornea.
A pterygium isn’t just an eye problem surfers encounter. It can affect anyone who spends long hours each day in bright sunlight. Your chance of getting a pterygium is more common if you live near water since the water reflects the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays into your eyes.
Typically, a pterygium grows on the side of your eyeball, and you may not experience any symptoms at first.
However, if the growth becomes larger, it may make the affected eye feel itchy or gritty like there’s constantly something in your eye. Your eye can become red and inflamed, and you may also experience blurred vision and irregular astigmatism.
Often the most effective solution for removing a pterygium is through surgery. Your skilled ophthalmologist at Eye Care & Surgery recommends which surgical removal method is best for your condition.
In most cases, your eye surgeon removes the pterygium from your eye and applies medication to help prevent scar tissue from forming.
Another pterygium surgery technique involves taking some tissue from the conjunctiva in your eye. The conjunctiva is the thin, clear membrane that covers the inner surface of your eyelids.
Your doctor may use a small part of this tissue to fill in the area after removing the pterygium. This technique can help prevent another pterygium from growing back in the same place.
Your doctor may also use a piece of amniotic membrane to fill in the area after removing the pterygium. This technique can also help prevent another pterygium from growing back in the same place.
Not necessarily. Before considering surgery, your Eye Care & Surgery doctor may recommend a more conservative approach, especially if the pterygium is small.
Your non-surgical treatment may include prescription lubricants or mild steroid eye drops that reduce your eye’s swelling, redness, and discomfort.
Another non-surgical treatment option involves wearing contact lenses that protect your eye from irritation from the pterygium. Your doctor explains which treatments are best for your specific condition, and if and when surgery is the optimal solution.
If you spend a lot of time outside, or by the water, regular eye exams at Eye Care & Surgery can help keep your eyes healthy and detect any signs of a pterygium at the earliest stages, before pterygium surgery is needed.
Call the office nearest you to schedule an appointment or request a convenient time through the online booking tool.