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Home » Ophthalmology » Pterygium

Pterygium in Houston, TX

Mary T. Green, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S., the board-certified ophthalmologist at Eye Excellence in Houston, can diagnose a pterygium and rule out more serious eye growths for the residents of Missouri City and the surrounding areas of Texas. See what treatment is best for you.

What Is A Pterygium?

img30 A pterygium as is a wedge-shaped, benign growth extending from the conjunctiva onto the cornea. Pterygium is most commonly found in people who live in the southern United States especially in Texas. It is frequently found in people who spend much of their time outdoors and have excess exposure to UV light. With the prolonged exposure to UV light, conjunctival tissue thickens and slowly creeps onto the corneal surface. Dust and dryness are also believed to exacerbate pterygia, and this makes it a common problem in certain Texas climates.

Onset and symptoms of a pterygium are gradual. Many patients experience chronic inflammatory symptoms from a pterygium, including eye redness, foreign body sensations, and/or pain.

Artificial tears sometimes alleviate the symptoms of a pterygium. Topical NSAIDs and/or steroids may also be used to manage the discomfort. As a pterygium become larger and more elevated, patients typically experience more dryness, more contact lens intolerance and even a gradual loss of vision.

What Is the Cause of Pterygium?

There is no exact known cause for the development of a pterygium, but those most at risk spend a great deal of time outdoors exposed to the sun and to environmental irritants, such as dust and wind. Farmers, fishermen, construction workers, golfers, and gardeners are among those most susceptible.

A pterygium is completely benign, but it can cause excessive eye irritation. Inflammation, dryness, tearing, redness and a foreign body sensation may all occur. A large pterygium can distort vision by causing astigmatism and in some cases, even block light from entering the eye. Patients often find pterygium to be cosmetically objectionable and are very self-conscious about their eye condition.

No-Stitch Surgical Removal

img29 To fully remove a pterygium, Dr. Green performs a state-of-the-art surgical procedure using fibrin tissue adhesive “glue”. During the procedure, the patient is sedated and the eye is completely numbed. After the pterygium is removed, the eye gradually returns to normal in about two to three weeks.

Surgical Risk

The main risks of pterygium excision are infection, scarring, and recurrence. The risk of infection is very low, at less than one in 1000. At Eye Excellence, our advanced pterygium removal technique using fibrin tissue adhesive yields a very low rate.

Preventing Pterygium

One of the best methods for preventing a pterygium is to wear wrap around UV 400 rated sunglasses when outdoors in sunny conditions. Wearing a large hat with a large brim provides additional protection.

How Much Does Pterygium Treatment Cost in Houston?

  • Even if your insurance plan doesn’t cover vision correction, you can use cash, a credit card, or approved financing for payment.
  • Choose from no-interest plans, extended payment options up to 48 months and no down payment.

Please visit our financing page for more information.

Dr. Green, the board-certified ophthalmologist at Eye Excellence in Houston and serving Missouri City and the surrounding areas of Texas, can diagnose a pterygium and rule out more serious eye growths during a complete medical eye examination. Contact us today.