Name That Growth!
Growth on the eye can be an unsettling development. Even if growth is asymptomatic, nothing more than a cosmetic issue, such a condition can be incredibly frustrating. Having extra flesh on the surface of the eye can feel anything but normal. In fact, if a growth on the eye does occur, it is advisable to schedule a visit with your eye doctor. The Eye Institute of Houston offers friendly care in a comfortable environment that focuses on identifying the best immediate course of action.
Often, fleshy growths on the eye’s surface, or sclera, are diagnosed as pterygium. These growths do not pose a significant threat to eye health. They develop within the lining of the eye, the conjunctiva, and may stay put for years, or they may grow. Pterygium may appear clear or may be slightly colored in a hue of pink or red, gray, or yellow. Coloration does not necessary indicate infection or abnormal cells. However, we have a hunch that a thorough examination of growth would at least improve your peace of mind.
Why Pterygium May Develop
There are a few different factors that have been considered as potential causes of a benign pterygium growth (or multiple growths). A leading factor is UV exposure. This is why pterygium is also commonly called Surfer’s Eye. There is also a risk for pterygium as a secondary condition to chronic dry eye syndrome, or to a dry environment.
Signs and Symptoms
An interesting thing about eye conditions like pterygium is that the symptoms of this growth are similar to symptoms of other eye conditions, such as dry eye syndrome or even mild conjunctivitis. Pterygium may create a foreign body sensation, as well as general irritation including redness and scratchiness. Vision may become blurred if the growth extends over the cornea.
In many cases, the course of action taken with pterygium is one of monitoring. Yearly eye exams may measure the growth to assess the extent of spreading if any. If the pterygium is causing mild symptoms, eye drops may be recommended to soothe irritation. Some patients choose to have pterygium surgically removed to improve appearance or physical comfort or to resolve blurriness.
Receive personal, friendly care from the team at Eye Institute of Houston. Call (713) 668-7337.