It is a relatively frequent ocular anomaly in which abnormal tissue growth of the conjunctiva occurs over the cornea. It is also called colloquially palm tree or nail. In all likelihood it occurs horizontally from the nasal side to the center of the cornea, and will always take the form of a wedge. Rarely appears from the external side.
The reason for its development is not known for sure, although the risk factors could be classified as:
- Excessive sun exposure
- Works that are outdoors.
- Too much exposure to different conditions that can irritate the eyes such as smoke, dust, heat, etc.
- Similarly to allergenic products such as chemicals.
There are many theories that lead to the appearance of the pterygium. The one that most people agree is the one that says that in order for conjunctival tissue to grow, it is due to the factors listed above that perfect humectation of the anterior part of the eye does not occur. This causes dryness and then inflammation.
The first thing you notice is the aesthetic part, where we can see how a soft white fabric will appear on the cornea, losing the circular shape. It will also redden. It can also be pinguecula, which occurs when a small round and triangular bulge appears, yellow or white.
The bulge will cause us to notice a certain sensation that when we blink we contact as if you had something annoying in the eye, like sand or something similar. It may also turn red which causes inflammation.
Can it be prevented?
Equally the best way to avoid the appearance of pterygium is to avoid the factors we have discussed before. So, when we observe the minimum symptoms, we should seek protection in the form of sunglasses, moisten the eyes well periodically and avoiding the annoying headwind in your eyes.
The treatment before the symptom appears is only preventive, using the measures we have discussed previously. It is advisable to take photographs of the possibly affected eye to see its comparison with time and see how it is growing towards the center of the cornea.
Treatment does not exist. It is only possible to go to the operating room for the removal of the abnormal tissue that is in the cornea. In most cases when the size is larger than normal, the part of the conjunctiva just attached is also removed to prevent the problem from recurring.
We should not let the problem grow, so we recommend that you make use of surgery to avoid growing so much that it affects you in the long run and very seriously in our view. The operation is performed under local anesthesia with infiltration.