A pterygium (pronounced tur-IJ-ee-um), also known as surfer’s eye is a chronic inflammatory response to UV exposure. This fleshy growth extends from the white of the eye onto the clear cornea and can remain small, or grow large enough to interfere with vision.
Many patients seek treatment for cosmetic reasons – they simply do not like the look of a pterygium. For others, a pterygium can cause irritation and reduce vision either from traction distorting the cornea, or by encroaching onto the visual axis of the eye itself.
A pterygium can often develop from a pinguecula. Infrequently, it represents a form of cancer that requires removal.