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Patient Information Sheet

Pterygium

Pterygia occur as a result of increased exposure to the sun. When UV light damages the tissue of the eye the body goes into its natural response, creating scar tissue to repair the damage.

It is this scar tissue (the pterygium) that inadvertently distorts the eye’s ability to perform to its optimal levels.

Symptoms vary and can be virtually undetectable, or cause significant redness, swelling, itching, irritation and blurred vision. It can also cause cosmetic disfigurement. There are a host of treatments that can be applied, from lubricants and eye-drops to eye surgery and radiotherapy.

To reduce the risk of pterygiayou should always remember to protect your eyes from excessive sunshine and UV light by wearing good quality sunglasses. Remember to take precautions not only during the sunny summer months but also when around snow, where UV light exposure is particularly high.