When the eye is irritated due to this condition, artificial tears may be prescribed for comfort. When the pterygium is inflamed (red and painful), steroid eye drops may be prescribed to reduce the inflammation. However, these eye drops only reduce discomfort associated with the presence of a pterygium.
Over time, the pterygium will grow towards the centre of the cornea and may affect vision. Definitive treatment in this instance is to remove the pterygium surgically. The exposed area is usually covered with normal conjunctival tissue, which reduces recurrence rates to approximately 10%. There are various methods available to attach this graft on, including the use of absorbable sutures and medical grade glue.
The surgery procedure is often performed under local anaesthesia. You will be provided with a prescription for eye drops following surgery. You may experience a foreign body sensation and some discomfort for several weeks following surgery.
Surgery is usually safe, with chances of sight threatening problems occurring at less than 1 in 5000.