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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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  • the vast majority of pterygia are asymptomatic
    • some pterygia may cause corneal drying and mild irritation - this generally can be successfully treated with ocular lubricants
    • it has been suggested that using sunglasses to reduce the UV exposure may retard the growth of pterygia - as may the use of ocular lubricants (1)
  • if a pterygium becomes significantly inflamed then ophthalmological referral is indicated for a short course of topical steroids

  • ophthalmological review is indicated if:
    • patient requires reassurance
    • concerned about the cosmesis of the lesion
    • there is a history of rapid increase in the pterygium
    • the lesion is causing visual problems
    • there is significant inflammation of the pterygium and topical steroid therapy may be indicated

  • surgical removal is not indicated unless there is
    • recurrent inflammation, or,
    • the patient has concern regarding the cosmesis of the lesion, or,
    • the pterygium is encroaching over the cornea and causing a reduction in vision


  1. Pulse (2004); 64 (30):52.

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