Overview: Pterygium

A pterygium is a non-cancerous growth on the outer surface of the eye that is associated with increased sun or UV exposure and aging. It is not a dangerous condition, but, for some patients, it can cause significant eye discomfort, grittiness, or decreased vision.


Pterygium is diagnosed with a clinical exam from an ophthalmologist.


Pterygiums are initially treated conservatively with topical eye lubricants and drops. Wearing sunglasses with UV protection can also help slow its progression. In later or more symptomatic cases, the growth can be surgically removed with a relatively quick and safe procedure. The procedure is almost always covered by insurance.