Concept

Pterygium (eye)

Summary
A pterygium of the eye (plural pterygia or pterygiums, also called surfer's eye) is a pinkish, roughly triangular tissue growth of the conjunctiva onto the cornea of the eye. It typically starts on the cornea near the nose. It may slowly grow but rarely grows so large that it covers the pupil and impairs vision. Often both eyes are involved. The cause is unclear. It appears to be partly related to long term exposure to UV light and dust. Genetic factors also appear to be involved. It is a benign growth. Other conditions that can look similar include a pinguecula, tumor, or Terrien's marginal corneal degeneration. Prevention may include wearing sunglasses and a hat if in an area with strong sunlight. Among those with the condition, an eye lubricant can help with symptoms. Surgical removal is typically only recommended if the ability to see is affected.
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