About Pterygium

A pterygium is a pinkish, triangular-shaped growth of tissue on the cornea. Pterygia are more common in sunny climates and in people aged 20 to 40. Some pterygia grow slowly throughout a person's life, while others stop growing after a certain point.


There are not very well-known causes of pterygia. However, people who have pterygia usually have spent a lot of time outdoors, and, therefore, ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun might be a factor. So of course, in regions areas where sunlight is strong, it is important to wear protective eyeglasses, sunglasses, and/or hats with brims.

Treatments We Offer

Because a pterygium is easy to notice it if becomes red and swollen, some patients may want to have it removed for cosmetic reasons. However, surgery to remove a pterygium is not recommended unless the pterygium affects vision or causes discomfort. If a pterygium is surgically removed, it might grow back, particularly if the person is younger than 40. Columbia ophthalmologists have other treatments available to make it less likely that the pterygium will grow back, including the use of conjunctival autografts, amniotic membrane, and a medication called mitomycin-C. Certain lubricants can also reduce the redness and provide relief from the chronic irritation.

Why Choose Columbia?

Columbia ophthalmologists have seen and treated it all. We will use our most advanced diagnosis tools to find the best way to treat your eye condition and make sure your quality of life is improved.