This article has been provided by Dr. Huseyin ACAR to give information about ‘Pterygium and Its Treatment’ in general terms.


Main function of the eye is to perceive the incoming light and to transmit data obtained by the vision nerves to the visual centers of our brain. It functions as such through the various embodied structures. Cornea located at the front side of our eyes is one of these structures and it works like a lens focusing the light into the nerve layer by refracting the light. There is membrane layer around cornea that covers non transparent layers of our eyes. This membrane layer is called as conjunctiva.

Şekil 1:Pterygium is the expansion of conjunctiva or the membrane tissue covering cornea which is a transparent structure towards cornea


Pterygium is the expansion of conjunctiva or the membrane tissue covering cornea which is a transparent structure towards cornea. Today the causes of this illness have not been established yet. As it is more frequently seen in the people living in excessive sun, dusty and very hot climates, it is considered that these factors may play a role in formation of pterygium. This illness does not create much complaint in its early stages. Patients see a kind of red meat layer expending towards pupil when they look at the mirror. In this period people feel discomfort in terms of aesthetical concerns. Pterygium proceeds to advance in most of time and it damages structure of cornea and thus it begins also to impact in the sight vision of the patient. In addition to these situations for some patients, itching, foreign body sensation, and burning may also be added into the clinical symptoms.


Diagnosis of pterygium disorder is made during normal eye examination. In most of the time, doctors immediately make diagnosis whenever see the patient even without any examination.

Treatment of pterygium disorder is performed by surgery. Patients tend generally to delay treatment since illness does not cause a certain type of complaints in early stages. There is no problem to follow up the patient in case that it does not harm cornea and thus not create any defect in vision of the patient. However, in case that cornea is impacted, then the illness must be treated. Otherwise changes to be occurred can lead to permanent damages. There have been many methods in treatment of pterygium throughout the history. The most updated method among them is the method called as “autografted pterygium operation”. In this method, ailing tissues are completely removed and the area remained as empty are covered by a healthy membrane pieces or namely by a normal conjunctiva tissue. This membrane tissue is fixed to the empty area by means of sutures or tissue adhesive. The method used in fixing the tissues does not have any role in success rate of the operation. Advantage of applying tissue adhesives is to shorten duration of operation and to increase comfort of the patient after the operation. In both methods, operation is made under local anaesthesia and it lasts approximately 45 minutes. After operation the eye is closed for a duration of day. There is no need for the patient to stay at the hospital.


Pterygium is an illness of the membrane tissue framing the cornea layer of our eyes. This membrane tissue causes some complaints of the patients by expanding upon cornea. Illness can be followed up in its early stages but when it begins to cause sight impairment and then it is time to treat the illness. Treatment of the illness is a surgical operation. Ailing tissue is removed under local anaesthesia and instead healthy conjunctiva tissue is inserted into this area.