DO THEY AFFECT YOUR VISION?
It is possible for a pterygium to affect your vision when it grows large enough to cross the visual axis, the centre of the pupil. This is also the case if it causes significant astigmatism. Astigmatism is where the cornea is shaped more like an egg or a rugby football, rather than a perfect sphere, and causes a change in vision.
In some cases, they can cause annoying irritation because they disturb the spread of the normal tear film. Alternatively, they may also look red and unsightly but with minimal symptoms.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS
If they are small and don’t bother you, they usually only require good UV protection with wrap-around sunglasses, combined with the use of lubricant drops.
If the pterygium is large, shows accelerated growth, causes significant irritation, or the appearance bothers you, then they can be surgically removed.
If you decide to have surgery, make sure you choose a surgeon with a special interest and fellowship in the disease. These surgeons use a technique that has a minimal risk of them growing back, called a recurrence, and can guarantee an excellent cosmetic result.
Dr. Smallcombe is the first surgeon in Australia and New Zealand to become an accredited P.E.R.F.E.C.T. for PTERYGIUM® PARTNER. She completed a Fellowship with Professor Lawrence Hirst, who is the pioneer of this surgical procedure.
RANZCO (The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists) has produced an informative brochure. Click here to go to the RANZCO website and download the brochure.
Also, see our Top Pterygium Tips