The term Surfer’s Eye is often used to describe pterygium, a benign growth that may develop over the slcera, or white of the eye. Surfer’s Eye has an affinity to those who take to the water, but that doesn’t mean land-babies are completely risk-free. Here, we want to offer a bit of information about this condition to help you recognize its symptoms.
What is pterygium, and how can you recognize it?
This growth that covers the sclera originates from the lining of the eyelid, the conjunctiva. From its starting point, the pterygium can expand to cover the cornea. The reason that pterygium is often referred to as Surfer’s Eye is that this growth is associated with exposure to UV light or sunlight. UV rays that bounce off the water are magnified and may cause noticeable damage to the eyes. Another factor that may instigate the growth of tissue over the eye is a dry or dusty or windy environment. Finally, people with chronic dry eye syndrome may develop pterygium.
There is a perception that pterygium is a white or clear growth. This isn’t consistent across the board. Some growths appear yellow, red, pink, even gray. More than one growth may develop, and it is also possible that vision may be affected should pterygium grow quite large.
The presence of a pterygium growth is an obvious indication of a slight problem. Additional symptoms of pterygium that may indicate the need for treatment include:
- Eye irritation or redness.
- The feeling of a foreign body in the eye.
- Blurred vision.
What to Do About Pterygium
To know how to treat a benign growth on the surface of the eye, it is important to obtain a thorough ophthalmic exam. If the pterygium is not causing irritating symptoms, it is possible that your eye doctor will recommend eye drops to soothe any foreign body sensation. Individuals with this condition are also encouraged to undergo specific testing on an annual basis, such as slit lamp measurements, to assess the status of the growth. If pterygium causes cosmetic concerns, chronic irritation, or vision problems, surgical removal may be advisable.
Learn more about diagnosis and treatment for pterygium. Call our Mililani office at 808-625-5577.