It consists of an abnormal growth of tissue on the cornea (anterior and transparent surface of the eye). This tissue is easily inflamed by sun exposure, wind or other irritants.

The Pterygium is painless, and the symptoms vary according to the size of the lesion. As the inflammation increases, the patient experiences discomfort such as irritation - red eye - lacrimation or foreign body sensation. In more severe cases, vision may be compromised by the development of astigmatism or the covering of larger areas of the cornea.

The exact causes of Pterygium are unknown, however some risk factors are pointed out, such as:

Excessive exposure to:

  • The sunlight.

  • Rough environmental conditions such as dust, dirt, heat, air, dryness and smoke.

  • Allergen products such as solvents and industrial chemicals.

Work outdoors.


If the Pterygium is very large and compromises the patient's vision, Pterygium resection surgery can be performed with a conjunctival graft from the same eye or, in some cases, amniotic membrane is used to reduce the risk of recurrence.