Diseases And Treatments

Pterygium - What It Is, Symptoms and Treatments

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Pterygium - What It Is, Symptoms and Treatmentsof this ocular disease that many are unaware of. In addition, thePterygiumis a fleshy formation that advances over the cornea, usually on the nasal side. It is a response of the eyes to a process of chronic eye irritation, in which exposure to sunlight and wind plays an important role. For this reason, patients oftenPterygiumas a kind of "flesh grown in the eyes" or simply, "meat in the eyes" (see photos above). OPterygiumin the eye is an injury that usually grows slowly throughout life. It can even stop growing at a certain point in time. In advanced cases, thePterygiumcan grow in such a way that it covers the pupil and interferes with the vision.

OPterygiumocular lesions may range from a small lesion to large, aggressive or fibrovascular lesions that may distort corneal topography, and in advanced cases may occlude the corneal optic center. It is a disease that usually affects people who spend a lot of time outdoors, exposed to wind and sun, and can affect one or both eyes (

Pterygiumbilateral). OPterygiumis not usually a serious problem. It may, however, cause some symptomatology and rather unpleasant signs.

Causes of Pterygium:The exact causes ofPterygiumare not fully known until today. It can be caused by hereditary or environmental factors and has a higher incidence in tropical regions, where the climate is drier and hotter. OPterygiumoccurs in people who spend a lot of time outdoors with wind, especially during the summer and with prolonged exposure to the sun, especially to ultraviolet rays (UVA and UVB). Environments with dust and dry eyes also favor the emergence ofPterygium.

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Symptoms of Pterygium:At thePterygium, there are usually several signs and symptoms which may be more or less exuberant according to the evolution of the disease. In certain circumstances, thePterygiumis asymptomatic (without symptoms). Among the most common symptoms we may include:

  • Foreign body sensation in the eye;
  • blurred vision;
  • Itching in the eye;
  • Burning sensation.
  • aPterygiumin an advanced phase can cause red eye and inflammation in the eye.

OPterygiumcan grow progressively over the cornea (the clear, outer layer of the eye), which can distort the cornea, causing astigmatism.

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Pterygium Treatments:When thePterygiumit becomes reddish and irritated, some eye drops can be used to reduce inflammation. The use of drops based on vasoconstrictors and lubricants is generally indicated, as well as protection against aggressive agents such as sun, wind, dust and smoke. However, in cases where thePterygiumhas become large enough to disrupt vision or is unsightly, should be removed by surgery.

The simplePterygiumin which only the tissue is removed is a simple and rapid technique, but is associated with a high incidence of relapses, because the area that remains exposed without any protection produces an inflammatory response to force the body to cover that region, which causes the recurrence in about 30 to 60%.

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Currently, in order to prevent recurrence, thePterygiumto a second technique, autologous conjunctiva transplantation (thin layer that covers the eyeball), which is transplanted of the upper portion of the eye (protected by the eyelid from the action of aggressive agents throughout life) to the area where it existed OPterygium, thus returning the physiology and normal anatomy of the affected area.

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