Pterygium is a raised, wedge-shaped growth of the conjunctiva.
Most common among those who live in sunny countries – particularly people who enjoy outdoor pursuits – the main symptom is a growth of pink, fleshy tissue on the conjunctiva, the clear tissue that lines the eyelids and covers the eyeball. It usually forms on the side closest to the nose and grows toward the pupil area.
It can look scary, but it isn’t cancer. The growth – which can show up in one eye or both – might spread slowly during a lifetime or stop after a certain point. In extreme cases, it can cover the pupil and cause vision problems.
Though it isn’t usually a serious condition, it can cause annoying symptoms. It might feel like you’ve got something in your eye, or it may get red and irritated. An ophthalmologist can perform an operation to remove a bothersome pterygium.