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Pterygium: Surfer’s Eye

Pterygium is a noncancerous growth that looks like a raised white/pink tissue on the white of one or both eyes. It is often called surfer’s eye because it tends to affect people who often work or play outdoors, especially surfers.

While not typically a serious condition, pterygium can continue to grow until it covers the cornea, leading to distortion of the cornea (astigmatism) and blurred vision.

Surfer’s Eye Symptoms

  • Blurred vision
  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Feeling of something foreign in the eye

Causes of Surfer’s Eye

Pterygium tends to affect people age 20 to 40 and it is more common in men. There is no single cause of pterygium; however, there are certain conditions that may increase your risk:

  • Excessive exposure to UV light (being outdoors)
  • Exposure to dust, wind, sand and other irritants
  • Dry eye
  • Not wearing sunglasses or hats outdoors
  • Low humidity environments

Surfer’s Eye Treatment in Orange County

Medicated or lubricating eye drops can help ease irritation caused by pterygium. If the lesion begins to threaten your sight or makes you feel self-conscious, pterygium surgery to remove the growth may be recommended. To reduce the risk of recurrence, our doctors at Azul Vision may perform an amniotic membrane transplant (AMT) graft where the former pterygium was located. Also called an auto-graft, this technique is a major advance in pterygium removal that greatly reduces recurrence rates. During an auto-graft, the surgeon applies anesthetic drops to numb your eye, removes the pterygium, then uses a self-transplant technique to fill the area with your own healthy conjunctival tissue. The transplanted tissue is added to the area by either sutures or a special adhesive. The procedure is quick with a low risk for complications. 

To learn more about surfer’s eye in Orange County, or if you are experiencing the symptoms of surfer’s eye, contact us today to schedule an eye exam.

Contact Azul Vision Today!