Pterygium & Cornea
A pterygium develops when otherwise fairly normal conjunctival tissue grows in an abnormal fashion onto the clear cornea (the transparent window of the eye). This growth can be unsightly, uncomfortable and can, in some rare cases cause an obstruction to vision. It is believed to be caused by too much sunlight and the eye getting dry. It is more common in people with pale skin living in hot countries. In Queensland we see a lot more pterygia than in Tasmania (or other cooler places).
Small pterygia that do not trouble you can be safely left alone. Larger pterygia can cause eye discomfort or be unsightly. It can be a good idea to remove these.
Pterygia surgery is normally very successful. However even with the use of modern techniques and special drugs the surgery can be uncomfortable in the days following and there is always a risk of recurrence. That said at the Moreton Eye Group we have surgeons who pride themselves on their excellent technique and the low chance of recurrence.