In our eyes, the conjunctiva protects the eyelids and it also covers the eyeballs. In some cases, this area can have some abnormal growth of fleshy tissue and leads to a Pterygium condition. It looks very odd and it can also spread in some cases. This can happen with one of the eyes or both of them depending on various factors. It usually causes irritation and gives an odd appearance to the person. However, in rare cases, it can also lead to various problems with the vision and affect the everyday working of the patient. It is said that overexposure to UV rays can lead to this condition in most cases. In other cases, even dry eyes and exposure to wind and dust can also cause this condition in the long run. In normal cases, when the symptoms are very mild, there is no need for such treatment. Some medication and eye drops will be more than enough to handle the problem. Only in extreme cases when it is causing vision problems, you need to opt for surgery as this can give long-term relief from this problem.
Symptoms of Pterygium:
– In many cases, this condition may not display obvious symptoms and it can be hard to detect them in the early stages. They may show up all of a sudden and it is only then that you will realize that you are affected by this condition.
– When symptoms show up in other cases, you will notice a burning sensation in the eyes and this will be predominant in the eyelids. This can also be due to other conditions and this symptom is not specific to this disease.
– It is also common for people suffering from this condition to feel itchiness around the eyelids and this can be an early symptom of Pterygium.
– Apart from that, you may also notice a bump on the eyelids and this can be yellow or red in colour. This should give you clear warning signs about the disease and you must approach your doctor to get it diagnosed in the proper manner.
– In extreme cases, when it grows in size, it can even reach the cornea region and begin to affect the vision. In this situation, it can cause vision blurriness and this will be a huge problem in the long run.
– You may also notice pain in some cases and this will be more when you touch the affected area. Whenever you notice such symptoms, do not try to treat yourself with over the counter medication and always approach your doctor for professional treatment.
Causes of Pterygium:
– While the exact cause for this condition is not yet determined, it is believed that overexposure to UV radiation can lead to this problem. It is the common point seen in all the patients suffering from this condition.
– It is usually seen in the warm climate regions where people are more exposed to this radiation due to natural factors. Apart from that, working outdoors for long hours without any protection from UV light is also likely to cause this condition in many individuals.
– In the same manner, some people exposed to a work environment that has a lot of smoke can also develop this condition at a later stage. This is due to the heavy smoke in the area and it can usually cause dry eyes and lead to this condition.
– Similarly, people exposed to sand and wind on a regular basis will suffer from this condition. Even though exposure for small duration does not cause many problems, it can become a huge issue when you are regularly working in such conditions.
– Many people are allergic to pollen and constant exposure to such conditions can lead to Ptergium in the long run. People working near fields are more likely to get such diseases due to their work atmosphere.
Diagnosis of Pterygium:
– The first step of diagnosis begins with the physical examination of the eyes. When you clearly describe the symptoms of this condition, your doctors will be able to identify the problem clearly and they can begin further diagnosis and go for the suitable treatment after this step.
– The eyes are thoroughly examined with a slit lamp that is a special device containing magnifying glass along with lighting equipment. This can give the best view of the affected area and the doctors will get a complete insight into the problem. When this test has confirmed the condition, further tests will be suggested to know about the extent of damage it has done to your eyes.
– In the next step, the eyes are tested for their ability to read and this will help the doctors to determine if the condition has affected the vision in any manner. Remember that when this condition has reached the cornea region, it can affect them badly and even leave a hole in extreme cases. For this reason, this test will be done at this stage to know about the extent of damage to the cornea region.
– The corneal topography test will give the complete details about the health of the cornea and this will be more than enough to monitor the complete changes in the cornea region. Whenever any abnormalities are noticed, further tests will be done to confirm the problem.
– Your doctor may also take photographs of the affected area to monitor the progression of the disease and this will help them to determine the growth of Pterygium in the eyes. When it is growing rapidly and reaching the cornea region, surgery may be suggested to treat the condition.
Prevention of Pterygium:
– You need to be aware of the preventive measures you can take to avoid this condition. Remember that having dry eyes or getting exposed to constant UV radiation for long hours can lead to this problem.
– For this reason, you should always try to wear hats that come with protection option for your eyes. In this way, you will be protected from harmful UV radiation for the most part of the day.
– Apart from that, you can also wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. In this regard, you should always choose good quality sunglasses that offer complete protection from UV rays. Make sure that you use them even on cloudy days as this is essential to protect your eyes from UV damage. You need to understand that clouds will not be able to stop UV rays and you will be exposed if there is no direct sunlight in your region.
– Yet another common cause of this condition is dry eyes. If you are suffering from dry eyes on a regular basis, you should avoid sitting in front of a computer for long hours at a stretch. When you want to sit for a long duration in front of the monitor, you can use eye drops that will keep your eyes moist and this will reduce the chances of getting this condition.
– When it comes to getting the best sunglasses for UV protection, you need to be aware that getting the glasses that offer protection from both Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B rays is important as this is of the best quality and offers complete protection.
– To begin with, you need to understand that this condition does not require any treatment or medication if it is still in the initial stages. In many cases, it may not grow beyond this stage and use over the counter medication to get relief from symptoms will be more than enough to handle the situation.
– Only when it is causing a lot of pain or irritation with redness in the eyes, you will need to use ointments and eye drops to get relief from these problems. It can also reduce the inflammation and help you to avoid further complications.
– When everything else has failed completely and you are still facing this issue for many weeks, you may need to see if this is causing any damage to your vision. If you notice blurry vision due to this condition, there is no other option but to go for surgery as this will help you to get long-term relief.
– You should understand that even surgery comes with some risks and there may be some side effects of this treatment. You should discuss all these issues with the doctor and then choose the best option suited for your situation.
– Even after getting surgery, you need to be aware of the symptoms and watch them carefully as this condition can reoccur in some cases. You should also take adequate precaution and ensure that you do not stay outdoors for a long duration without proper eye protection. Even wearing a simple hat that covers your eyes will be enough to get some protection from direct sunlight. Similarly, using eye drops whenever you feel that your eyes are dry will also help you to avoid further complications. Your doctor will prescribe suitable medication that can be used after surgery to get quick relief from the problem.
– The biggest complication of this disease is that it can reoccur at a later stage and create a lot of complications with vision.
– When n treatment is not provided properly, it can also lead to scarring of the corneal region that can later affect the vision in many ways.
– In extreme cases, it can even create a hole in the cornea and this may also lead to complete vision loss. For this reason, you should always be very careful about the initial symptoms and get it treated by doctors at the earliest so that you can avoid such complications.
– It can even lead to cross-eyed complications even though this is not very common and it happens only in very rare cases.
– When the condition has advanced too much, it can even result in the scleral melt that may lead to severe complications with the vision in future. It usually happens after getting treatment for this condition and you need to take suitable preventive measures as suggested by your doctors.
Myths about Pterygium:
Myth #1: Surgery is mandatory to treat Pterygium
The good thing about this condition is that it does not require surgery in most cases. Just using medicated eye drops along with prescription medicine will be able to provide relief in most cases. Only in extreme cases when it is affecting the vision, you may need to go for surgery.
Myth #2: Pterygium surgery is painful
The entire procedure can be completed in a short duration of time and it is not painful. Some people hesitate to go for surgery as they think that they have to endure pain and take bed rest for many weeks. However, this is not the case with Pterygium as modern technology has made it easy for the doctors to treat this condition and you can get relief in quick time.
Myth #3: Pterygium is a recurring disease
It is not recurring in every case and most people get complete relief from such problems. However, you should take some precautions and avoid overexposure to UV radiation, dust and smoke even after getting surgery for this condition. Only in rare cases, this condition can reoccur and create further complications.
You need not panic when you are diagnosed with this condition as this can be easily treated with appropriate medication and you can even choose surgery when everything else fails to provide relief. You should be aware of the symptoms in the early stages and approach your doctor at the earliest for a thorough diagnosis. In this way, you will have the advantage of getting treatment in the early stages and you can prevent further complications. In the initial stages when symptoms are very mild, you will be given medication to treat the problem. This can provide relief in a few weeks. When this condition starts growing in the cornea region, you should be worried as this can affect the vision at a later stage when it is not treated at this stage. In this situation, surgery will give long-term relief to the patients and most of them recover completely within a few weeks after the treatment.