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Help! I have a growth in my eye!

Causes and treatments for pterygium growths

This is a non-cancerous growth that occurs on your conjunctiva (the mucus membrane covering the eye) and can grow onto your cornea. It is often wedge shaped and occurs more commonly in the nasal aspect of the eye, however can occur temporally.


If the pterygium is small it is called a penguecula and may have no symptoms. As it grows larger it can be a cosmetic complaint or it can lead to dryness and irritation. If it becomes inflamed it can be extremely irritating and look very large and red. It can grow over your cornea and cause astigmatism and affect vision.


UV exposure, warm climates, pollen, dust and genetics have all been implicated in pterygium formation.


Depending on the size and whether it is causing symptoms or inflamed, treatment can vary from protective measures, lubrication, short term steroid drop use or surgery. Your ophthalmologist will guide you as to what is the best option for you.

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