Pterygium & Pingueculum Treatment
Pingueculae and pterygium treatment often involves eye drops or lubricants. Steroid drops may also be used as a short-term measure although regular use suggests surgery may be required.
While in many cases pingueculae only cause mild symptoms such as a gritty feeling and irritation, they can become inflamed and interfere with vision.
Here we cover the difference between pinguecula and pterygium, symptoms and treatments.
In many cases, no treatment is required. However, when a pinguecula or pterygium becomes irritated, eye drops can relieve the irritation temporarily.
Lubricants can also help. Steroid drops can be used as a short-term measure, but if you need to use these often you may need surgery.
If the growth becomes large and affects vision or causes constant discomfort, it can be surgically removed.
Pterygium surgery involves cutting the pterygium away from the eye. Surgery takes about 45 minutes and requires a day hospital stay and the use of an operating microscope.
Local anaesthetic is used and the experience is no worse than a trip to the dentist.
After surgery it will take about 6 weeks for the eye to settle and you will need 4-5 days off work. Your glasses prescription may need to be changed after pterygium surgery.
Protection against UV light may halt progression of these growths. Polarised, wrap around sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats may be effective.
Protective eye wear such as safety goggles should be worn in dusty environments.
Dry eyes may also contribute to growth of pinguecula. An eye specialist can prescribe medications to help keep the eyes lubricated.
Yes, a pterygium can grow back after surgical removal. Unfortunately your ophthalmologist cannot predict whether this will happen or not.