What is Ptergium?

This is a growth that starts on the clear conjunctiva tissue of the eye that can spread to the cornea. The non-cancerous, triangular growth may occur on one or both eyes. It's more common in people who spend a lot of time in the sun, such as those who work outdoors.

Some Pterygia grow slowly throughout a person's life, while others stop growing after a certain point. A Pterygium may occasionally grow big enough that it begins to cover the pupil of the eye.



​Pterygium are more common in sunny climates and in people between 20 and 40 years of age. The exact cause is unknown but people with Pterygia have usually spent a significant amount of time outdoors and often in windy or dusty conditions.

​Common symptoms of Pterygia may include:

  • Eye redness and inflammation.

  • Irritation, burning or feeling of something in your eye

  • Dryness of the eye due to reduced tear production.

  • Blurring of vision if the corneal surface is altered or “warped”

  • Obscuring of vision if growth encroaches across the pupil.


Because a Pterygium is visible, many people want to have it removed for cosmetic reasons. However, it is usually not too noticeable unless irritated by dust or air pollutants. Surgical excision is the treatment for large growths.

Protective glasses, sunglasses and/or hats with brims are recommended when sunlight is strong.

Visique Greerton Optometrists

(07) 577 0113

157 Chadwick Road

Greerton, Tauranga

Opening hours

Mon - Fri: 8.30am - 5.30pm

Saturday: 9am - 12pm

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