Pterygium Removal in Delray Beach, FL

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What Is a Pterygium?

A pterygium is a noncancerous eye growth that develops on the sclera or the white part of the eye. Commonly referred to as an eye web or "surfer's eye," a pterygium may be caused by extended exposure to ultraviolet light, wind, sand, or other irritants. It also may be associated with dry eye syndrome. Pterygia generally begin on the conjunctiva (the clear membrane covering the sclera) within the inner corner of the eye and can expand to cover all or part of the cornea. In some cases, it can change the shape of the cornea, impacting a person's vision. The board-certified ophthalmologists at Rothchild Eye Institute are pleased to offer advanced care for pterygium removal in Delray Beach, FL. Please contact our facility to schedule an appointment or to learn more about pterygium causes and treatments.

What Are the Symptoms of Pterygium?

Pterygia can be pink, white, or gray in color and may present an aesthetic concern for patients living throughout sunny Palm Beach County. Though typically painless, there are some symptoms that can develop from a pterygia. If pterygium symptoms occur, patients may experience one or more of the following:

  • Inflammation
  • Eye redness
  • Burning or itching around the surface of the eye
  • Mild eye pain
  • Eye irritation
  • Dry eye
  • Watery eyes
  • The feeling of sand or grit in the eye

What Causes Pterygium?

Pterygium is primarily caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. Additional environmental factors, such as wind, dust, and sand, can also contribute to its development, making it more common among individuals who spend significant time outdoors, especially in sunny, windy, or sandy environments. The condition is characterized by a benign growth on the conjunctiva that may extend onto the cornea, potentially affecting vision. While the exact mechanism behind pterygium formation is not fully understood, these risk factors suggest a combination of UV damage and irritation plays a crucial role in its onset.

What are the benefits of pterygium removal?

Many patients find there are more than cosmetic benefits to having surfer's eye treatment. Some of the other benefits of conjunctive eye treatment include:

  • Improved vision
  • Alleviates uncomfortable symptoms
  • Lowered risk of abnormal cell regrowth
  • Uses innovative techniques that allow ophthalmologists to forego stitches

How Are Pterygia Diagnosed and Treated?

Since pterygia have a distinct visual appearance, they are often diagnosed through a physical examination. Our eye physicians may also use a slit lamp to evaluate the growth under light and magnification or perform corneal mapping.

In some cases, a pterygium in Delray Beach, FL, may resolve on its own or can be managed with eye drops. But if it encroaches on your field of vision or causes other concerns (such as astigmatism), pterygium removal may be ideal. Our cornea specialist at Rothchild Eye Institute uses advanced techniques to surgically remove pterygia while preserving surrounding eye structures. Pterygium surgery may also be paired with conjunctival auto-grafting, which transplants tissue taken from the upper eyelid to replenish the conjunctiva structure.

Pterygium FAQ

What causes pterygium?
One of the most prevalent causes of pterygium is exposure to a large amount of ultra-violet light. This is why pterygium is more common among individuals who live in sunny areas. Pterygium also typically occurs more often in males over the age of 40 years old.

Can pterygium go away on its own?
In some cases, pterygium can alleviate on its own. However, if it is interfering with your vision, it may require removal at Rothchild Eye Institute. During a thorough consultation at our facility, our skilled eye care professionals can offer the best course of treatment specifically for you.

When should pterygium be treated?
Pterygium should be effectively treated if it is causing vision issues. Additionally, if it is causing redness or irritation, treatment may be necessary. Talk with our team at Rothchild Eye Institute if you are experiencing symptoms of pterygium to discover if treatment may be required.

How long does it take to recover from pterygium?
Full recovery from treatment for pterygium in Delray Beach, FL, can take a few weeks or as long as a month. This quick recovery time will help you get back to your normal routine. For more information about the specific treatment and how long recovery takes, contact our eye specialists in Delray Beach, FL for more information.

Protect Your Ocular Health

Though a pterygium is commonly a minor eye condition, it could affect your vision or grow to be a cosmetic concern. Rothchild Eye Institute offers specialized care to diagnose, manage, and treat pterygia and help you maintain ocular health. If you have signs or symptoms of a pterygium, please schedule a consultation with our Delray Beach, FL, cornea specialist. Our physicians are providers for Medicare and a wide range of insurance plans.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.