In most cases, doctors do not recommend treatment for a pterygium, although surgery is available if the condition causes vision problems or cosmetic issues, MedlinePlus says. Artificial tears can help prevent irritation of the pterygium, and mild steroid eye drops can treat irritation if it occurs.
A pterygium is a noncancerous growth of the conjunctiva, the thin clear tissue on the eye, MedlinePlus explains. These growths can occur in both eyes and extend from the white part of the eye, the sclera, onto the cornea. They are often visible as slightly raised regions with visible blood vessels that run through them. Frequent exposure to dusty or windy areas increases the risk of developing this condition, so it is more likely to affect people in professions such as farming and fishing. Occurrences of pterygium are rare in children.
If a pterygium becomes inflamed, it can cause symptoms including a burning sensation or a feeling like there is a foreign object in the eye, says MedlinePlus. Vision problems occur if the pterygium extends too far onto the cornea. Untreated irritation of a pterygium can cause it to grow further onto the cornea, and it can recur after surgical removal. People with a pterygium require regular medical checkups in order to prevent the occurrence of vision problems.