Pterygium, Cause, Symptoms and Treatment - Eye Health Nepal

Pterygium, Cause, Symptoms and Treatment

Conjunctival growth pterygium


Pterygium is a growth of wing-shaped mass on the mucous membrane, conjunctiva of the eye. The mass grows from the nasal side of the eye and overlaps the cornea. A pterygium usually doesn’t cause problems or require treatment, but it can be removed if it interferes with your vision.

What causes it?

The cause of pterygium is not known. Exposure to UV rays is said to be the cause of growth. It happens in people who live in warm climates and spend a lot of time outdoors in a windy and sunny environment. The people prone to things like pollen, sand, dust, and smoke are at high risk.


People with pterygium have redness, blurry vision, itching, Foreign-body sensation, and eye irritation. Sometimes it can grow bigger to cover the whole pupil. The contact lens cannot be worn if you have big pterygium. 

Pterygium at its early stage only needs lubricating and anti-inflammatory eye drops. Needs surgical removal if it encroaches cornea which can create opacity in the cornea.

How is the diagnosis made?

Eye Doctors use this eye examination machine called a slit lamp. Slit-lamp helps doctors to see the presence of pterygium with the magnification seen through the slit lamp.


Stages Of Pterygium

Classification of pterygium into different stages are:

• Stage 1: There is a papillary response. The lesion moves towards the limbus. Also, the tissues of the conjunctiva and corneal are flat.

• Stage 2: there is a minimal elevation on the conjunctival and corneal tissues. Also, there is normal vascularity, and the lesion is seen to appear on the limbus.

• Stage 3: at this stage, there is vessel congestion with moderate vascularity. Also, the pterygium covers the space between the limbus and the pupil margin.

• Stage 4: it is a more severe form of pterygium, mostly occurring in the progressive type of pterygium. Here, the pterygium moves towards the pupil and may affect vision. However, this can cause an increase in astigmatism. Also, there is vessel congestion and dilation.

Parts of Pterygium:

1. Head
2. Neck
3. Body
4. Cap
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