Blinding ptergium: Pterygium that leads to blindness.


Pterygium is a growth of wing-shaped mass on the mucous membrane, conjunctiva of the eye. The mass grows from 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 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. Contact lens cannot be worn if you have big pterygium. 
Ptergium 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 slit lamp. Slit lamp helps doctors to see the presence of pterygium with the magnification seen through the slit lamp.


A patient in Nepal came with a complaint of diminished vision in his right eye. The diagnosis made by Dr. Sanjeeb K. Yadav was pretty amazing as the patient had pterygium. The thing that amazed everyone was that the patient had pterygium grown so far that his total cornea was covered. This type of pterygium is also called "Blinding pterygium."
Here are some photos of the old man from the initial check up to the surgery he received for removal of his pterygium. The pterygium sure did put a heavy thick scarring on cornea, but it is always better to have cornea free from masses. Surgical removal of pterygium was done with grafting amniotic membrane. 
Surgeon- Ophthalmologist Dr. Sanjeeb K. Yadav, Oculoplastic Specialists, Nepal
Photo by Manish Karki.
eye surgery
Pterygium as seen on operating table
pterygium surgery

surgery of eye
Surgical removal of Pterygium and Amniotic membrane 
Amniotic membrane place over cornea