A pterygium is fleshy growth over the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye). A pterygium most commonly occurs on the inner corner of the eye, but can also appear on the outer corner. Pterygia are more often seen in people from tropical climates and are very prevalent in Hawai’i. Long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and chronic eye irritation from dry, dusty conditions seems to cause pterygium to get worse. Sunglasses to protect the eyes from UV light are very important to aid against the progression of the pterygium.
If the pterygium becomes red and irritated, artificial tears and sometimes steroid eye drops may be used to help reduce the inflammation.
Surgical Removal of Pterygium
If the pterygium is large enough to affect your vision or if it is always red and irritated, it can be removed surgically. Dr. Olkowski is an expert on pterygium surgery and has performed hundreds of these procedures in Hawaii for 20 years. He utilizes the latest surgical techniques to include tissue glue with conjunctival and amniotic membrane transplantation. This technology provides a lower recurrence rate, less post-operative discomfort and a more natural appearance of the eye. These procedures are performed in the comfort of our state of the art laser eye center.