Ramirez & Poulos M.D.; P.A.

Ophthalmologists & Medical Aesthetics Specialists located in Orlando, FL & Kissimmee, FL

A pterygium, also known as “surfer’s eye,” is a common condition among those who live in sunny climates like Florida’s. The experienced ophthalmologists at Ramirez & Poulos, MD, PA, with offices in Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida, provide the highest standard of care for a pterygium — a growth in your eye — including surgery, if necessary. If you experience the signs and symptoms of a pterygium, don’t wait to seek treatment. Call the office closest to you for an appointment to be evaluated. 

Pterygium Q & A

What is a pterygium?

A pterygium is a wedge-shaped growth on your eyeball that typically begins in the white part (sclera) and can overlap your cornea. The condition is also known as “surfer’s eye” since being exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays for many hours a day can contribute to the growth of a pterygium. Living near the water also increases your risk of developing a pterygium since the water reflects the sun’s rays into your eyes.

Pterygia (more than one pterygium) are noncancerous growths, but they can disfigure your eye if left untreated. They can also cause blurry vision and eye discomfort.

What are the symptoms of a pterygium?

If the pterygium is small, you might not notice any symptoms right away. Symptoms usually start out mild and include:

  • Feeling like you have sand or something similar in your eye
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Itchiness and irritation in your eye
  • Inability to wear contact lenses

If the pterygium continues to grow, it can distort the shape of your eye and cause astigmatism and other vision problems.

Is it possible to prevent a pterygium?

Yes. There are steps you can take to prevent a pterygium from forming or coming back. Each time you go outside, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun, especially when you’re spending a day at the beach. Limit your exposure to wind, dust, pollen, and smoke, as any of these things can help cause the growth or regrowth of a pterygium.

One of the best things you can do for your eye health is to schedule regular eye exams with the knowledgeable team of ophthalmologists at Ramirez & Poulos, MD, PA, so they can note any changes in your eyes as soon as they happen.

What treatments of a pterygium are available?

Typically, the team at Ramirez & Poulos, MD, PA, only treats a pterygium if it’s causing symptoms or affecting your vision. In most cases, your ophthalmologist monitors your eye for signs that the condition is worsening. If the pterygium is causing you discomfort, your doctor can prescribe eye drops or ointments that contain corticosteroids to reduce the redness and inflammation.

If the pterygium grows large enough to cause vision problems or more conservative methods don’t relieve your symptoms, your doctor could recommend surgery to remove the growth from your eye.

Do you have more questions about a pterygium? Call the office closest to you to schedule an exam or use the convenient online booking tool.