Best Vision Eye Hospital


Pterygium: It’s a growth of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane that covers the front of the eye, which extends over the cornea, the clear dome-like surface that covers the colored part of the eye (iris).

  • Common ocular surface disorder.
  • Triangular-shaped fibrous tissue growing under the conjunctiva.
  • Can encroach onto the cornea.
  • Most common site: nasal conjunctiva, but also seen on temporal conjunctiva.

Risk Factors:

  • Exposure to dry, dusty conditions, especially in rural populations working in hot, dry, windy weather.
  • Prolonged sun exposure, as UV radiation causes pterygium.
  • Genetic predisposition can play a role.
  • In India, prevalence ranges from 9.5% to 13%, more common in rural areas.
  • More common in males due to outdoor work.

Nasal Location:

  • Light passing through the cornea concentrates on the nasal conjunctiva.
  • Nose shadow reduces the strength of light on the temporal conjunctiva.
  • Longer eyelashes on the outside of the lid filter light falling on the temporal side.
  • Natural tears flow from the temporal to the nasal side, carrying dust that irritates the nasal conjunctiva.


  • UV rays damage limbal stem cells.
  • Damaged limbal stem cells activate tissue and blood vessel growth factors.
  • This leads to pterygium formation with blood vessels.


  • Irritation.
  • Excessive tearing.
  • Foreign body sensation.
  • Cosmetic concerns.
  • Reduced vision if the cornea is encroached upon.
  • Difficulty fitting contact lenses.

Types of Pterygium:

  1. Progressive:
  • Thick, fleshy, vascular.
  • Progressively encroaches onto the cornea.
  1. Atrophic:
  • Thin, attenuated, poor vascularity.
  • Stationary, doesn’t progress as aggressively.


  • Surgical removal of the pterygium.
  • Conjunctival auto graft placement (conjunctiva taken from the upper part of the eye).
  • Medical treatment includes drops to alleviate symptoms.
  • Untreated pterygium can lead to complications.